WASHINGTON: The US government will continue to require all foreign travellers, regardless of their vaccination status, to have a negative coronavirus test result before being allowed to enter the country.
“We’re constantly evaluating our policy, the pre-departure testing requirement remains in place as we have it today,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday. Changes to the regulations would be made based solely on the assessment of health and medical experts, she added.
The US travel industry is calling for an end to mandatory testing for fully vaccinated air travellers.
A letter from airlines, airports, hotel chains and other industry associations to the White House Coronavirus Coordinator last month warned that the economic losses from the measure would be significant. They also pointed out that there is no mandatory testing at the US land borders with Canada and Mexico.
Travellers to the US must be tested the day before their flight. The testing requirement applies to both foreigners and US citizens regardless of vaccination status.
Those who have recently recovered from Covid-19 and can show a letter from a doctor or health authority are exempt from the requirement.
Travellers flying within the US, on the other hand, are not subject to compulsory testing and, following a ruling by a federal court, are no longer even required to wear masks on board.