New Travel Restrictions Will Impose Additional Harm on Industry, Must Be Lifted Quickly

Published on : Friday, December 3, 2021

Zane Kerby, President and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) issues the following statement in response to the Biden Administration’s updated travel rules announced today:

“While we are pleased to see that the Administration will not be implementing some of the more extreme measures it was reportedly considering, further tightening of the inbound testing window comes just days after a series of country-specific travel bans were imposed and is yet another blow to our industry and travelers around the globe. International travel, already extraordinarily complex, will become more complicated still and our members’ businesses and clients will continue to suffer.

“We call on the Administration to revisit the propriety of both the shortened testing window and travel bans as quickly as possible, as we believe that the existing masking, testing, and vaccination requirements – painstakingly crafted by the Administration over the past few months – should obviate the need for new travel restrictions every time a new COVID variant emerges. We can, and must, combat the spread of this virus without destroying an entire sector of the U.S. economy in the process.

“If we had a system where travel restrictions triggered automatic economic relief to impacted businesses, these changes would be much less of a concern. Unfortunately, we do not. As such, we again call on Congress to recognize that for many businesses the pandemic is not over and, at minimum, pass the SAVE Act (H.R. 2120) to include travel agencies in the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program and restore the Employee Retention Tax Credit for the fourth quarter of 2021.”

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