HEBRON, KY — As of June 12, 2022, international airline passengers heading to the U.S. will no longer be required to present a negative COVID-19 test.
The CDC and the Biden administration decided to lift the rule that has been in place in January 2021.
Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the Director for The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote in the announcement that fewer COVID-19 cases and better treatment options are reasons to rescind the regulation.
Travel industry experts have been lobbying the Biden administration to join other countries in eliminating the testing requirement, including Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom.
“We’ve been pushing hard for this for months,” said Dave Hershberger, president and CEO of Prestige travel leaders in Montgomery, Ohio.
“It’s like the feeling you have when your first child is born,” Hershberger said. “This was the greatest thing to happen to our industry in a long time.”
Most airline passengers who spoke with Spectrum News at the Greater Cincinnati Airport (CVG) are happy to see the change.
“I think it’s a good idea to bring more people into the country,” said Mike Brown, an airline traveler from Middletown, Ohio. “This will help to get back travel money into the states and help get our economy back on track."
Some passengers are reluctant to get rid of the rule.
“Removing the travel restrictions will increase the cases (of COVID-19),” said airline traveler Will Dawson of Burlington, Kentucky. “That’ll cause more strain on health care workers and it’s corporate dollars over human lives, so I don’t think that balances out."
The U.S. Travel Association estimates that eliminating the requirement will help to bring more than 5 million visitors to the U.S. and about 9 billion dollars in travel spending through the rest of 2022.
“This is going to open the floodgates to international travel,” Hershberger said. “People have been waiting two years to travel internationally because of this requirement.”