Airlines are pressuring the US to lift test requirements before departure

Airlines are pressuring the US to lift test requirements before departure

Travelers wait in line to get tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19) at an emerging clinic at Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, California, USA, December 22, 2021. REUTERS / Bing Guan

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WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) – U.S. airlines are pushing the Biden administration to lift a 16-month rule that requires almost all international air passengers, with some exceptions, to be COVID-19-negative before entering the country.

Airline executives say many Americans do not travel internationally due to concerns that they will be positive in a foreign country and then be excluded abroad. International air travel in the US remains about 15% below pre-pandemic levels.

The airline for America, an industrial group, said Friday that an airline survey estimated that repealing the test rules would bring in an additional 4.3 million international passengers and $ 1.7 billion in additional revenue – and could lead to 1.075 million foreign visitors and $ 2.1 billion in visitor spending.

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Crain’s Chicago Business reported Thursday that Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he did not believe the pre-departure rules “would last forever”, but added that lifting them would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to it is certain that “relaxation will not harm the progress we have made against the virus”.

The CDC declined to comment.

British Transport Secretary Grand Saps told Reuters and other reporters in Washington on Thursday that he had discussed the issue with Butijing and some US lawmakers.

Shapps said the reduction in demand has boosted the UK economy and has not affected COVID-19 cases.

“It works to get rid of it. It was a huge boost for our tourism and travel industry,” Shapps said.

He believes that the United States is moving towards lifting the rules, but US officials have not given specific indications.

“My feeling is that he is coming to the end of the game. I think they realize he has to go,” Shapps said. “My feeling is that until the summer.”

The United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and many other countries have abolished pre-departure test requirements for vaccinated travelers.

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Report by David Shepardson. curated by Bernard Orr

Our role models: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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