The U.S. Travel Association will urge the Biden administration to drop its testing requirement for vaccinated inbound travelers, saying that it hopes the U.S. will follow the U.K.’s lead.
ASTA made a similar appeal to the White House on Tuesday.
The U.K. will end Covid-19 testing requirements for fully vaccinated inbound adult travelers and for all inbound travelers under age 18, beginning Feb. 11.
U.S. Travel CEO Roger Dow said during the group’s annual state of the travel industry address that it will submit a letter along with several other travel associations asking that the CDC’s requirement be eliminated, and said doing so “will definitely increase travel.”
Tori Emerson Barnes, U.S. Travel’s executive vice president of public affairs and policy, said that a recent survey showed that air passengers indicated the pre-departure test was a leading factor in the decision not to travel internationally, due to concerns about being unable to return home.
“We do continue to hear that it is a challenge to have the pre-departure requirement,” she said. “Quite frankly, we really think that the time is now to remove the testing requirements.”
Emerson Barnes and Dow also said that while they encourage travelers to get booster shots, they hope a booster does not become mandatory to enter the U.S.
“We’re going to have to eventually look at how to phase out some of these requirements,” Emerson Barnes said, adding that requiring a booster shot “would further limit the number of folks that can come into the country.”
“Travel’s like water,” Dow said. “If you put a barrier in place, it will find another direction to go and people won’t travel. If you remove that barrier, it flows and flows very quickly.”