The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is lifting a requirement for all international travelers to show proof of a negative COVID test before boarding their flight to the United States. The change will take effect at midnight on Sunday (June 12).
The move to lift the requirement, which was put in place in January 2021, comes after months of lobbying from airlines, the travel industry, and scientific experts who called the policy unnecessary and outdated. They also voiced concerns that the requirement was hurting demand for tourism and international travel.
“We are able to take this step because of the tremendous progress we’ve made in our fight against the virus,” a senior White House official told ABC News. “We have made lifesaving vaccines and treatments widely available, and these tools are working to prevent serious illness and death and are effective against the prevalent variants circulating in the U.S. and around the world.”
“We’re committed to continuing to ensure the safety of Americans here at home and international air travel,” the official added.
The CDC plans to reassess the decision to lift the requirement in 90 days and could reinstate it if a new variant emerges or if there is another surge in cases of COVID-19.
The CDC still recommends that all air travelers get tested for COVID-19 before they fly.