Currently, passengers traveling to the US are required to take a test within one day of their journey, and most unvaccinated foreign travelers are banned.
However, as more countries are lifting their COVID-19 travel restrictions, pressure is rising on the US to follow and start relaxing the limitations in time for the summer tourist season.
Earlier in the month, President Biden’s attempt to extend other strict measures, such as mandatory masks on public transport, was blocked by a federal judge – although many of these rules are still recommended by the CDC.
What are the current rules for entering the US?
At the moment, anyone entering the US is required to get a COVID-19 PCR test and rapid antigen test within one day of traveling by air. This rule applies regardless of citizenship or vaccination status. Only children under two years old are exempt from this.
Fully vaccinated visitors are not required to quarantine, although it’s recommended that they test within five days of their arrival and air passengers are required to provide their contact information to the airline before boarding their flight.
When will the rules be relaxed?
The CDC hasn’t mentioned when the rules will be relaxed. However, in a news conference, US airlines hinted that they could be eased in the coming weeks.
US airline Delta president Glen Hauenstein said, “We are hearing good things from Washington. Hopefully, that [the testing requirement] gets rolled back in the next few weeks.”
According to the i-paper, the company’s chief legal officer added, “We are getting a strong indication that pre-departure testing will be phased out in the near future, which is quite encouraging.”
If these rules are relaxed, it will be good news for America’s travel industry, as the pre-departure testing is a huge barrier to the travel industry’s recovery and many travelers are currently choosing alternative destinations.