With New CDC Guidance, Travel, Aviation, Business Groups Urge Biden Admin to Lift COVID Travel Restrictions

 Tuesday, March 1, 2022 


With new guidance issued Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that relaxes many COVID-era policies—including indoor mask wearing—the U.S. Travel Association, the American Hotel and Lodging Association, Airlines for America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are appealing to White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients in a letter that urges the Biden administration to replace pandemic-era travel advisories, requirements and restrictions with endemic-focused policies that enable travel to resume fully and safely and the American economy to accelerate its recovery.

These policies are crucial to restoring the U.S. economy and workforce as travel was the largest services-based U.S. export prior to the pandemic. In 2021, as many other sectors of the economy reached a full recovery:

Business travel spending was approximately 50% below 2019 levels; and
International travel spending was down a staggering 78% compared to 2019.

Given travel’s slow economic recovery, and in light of the improved public health metrics in the U.S. and medical advancements to prevent the worst outcomes of COVID-19, the Biden administration should now take steps to normalize travel conditions, which include repealing both the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated inbound air travelers and the federal mask mandate for public transportation, among other key policies.

Recommendations to restore travel:

Remove the pre-departure testing requirement for all fully vaccinated inbound international arrivals.
By Ma

This industry group remains ready to assist the Biden administration in advancing these necessary endemic-era policies and restoring the U.S. travel economy.

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