U.S. drops test requirements for international arrivals

From 12 June 2022, it would be much easier for international travellers to visit the U.S. for business, conferences and meetings.

The removal of the testing rule is projected to bring in an additional 5.4 million visitors and US$9 billion in travel spend for the U.S. this year.
The removal of the testing rule is projected to bring in an additional 5.4 million visitors and US$9 billion in travel spend for the U.S. this year. Photo Credit: GettyImages/Rawpixel Ltd

Insiders from the American business travel and events industry welcomed the CDC's announcement that, as of 12 June 2022, the U.S. would no longer require incoming air travellers to show proof of negative Covid-19 pre-departure tests prior to entry.

In a statement, Suzanne Neufang, CEO of the Global Business Travel Association said: “It is vital to global recovery that we continue to show that America is open for business and for business travel.”

Neufang said that, with the scrapping of testing requirements, she expects an increase in Americans' willingness to return to international travel.
"Americans ave been unwilling to take the chance of being unable to return to the U.S. at the end of their business trip or vacation. This will also help to ensure we create an easy path forward for international travellers to return to the U.S. for business, conferences and meetings,” she added.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, the easing of the testing rule would mean an additional 5.4 million visitors and US$9 billion in travel spend for the U.S. this year.

Business Travel Association CEO Clive Wratten, meanwhile, said in a statement he hoped the United States' decision would "be a clarion call for all countries to remove the remaining restrictions and encourage international travel once more."

Tommy Goodwin, vice president of government affairs for the Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA), a MICE industry association, said: “ECA applauds the Biden administration and the CDC. As the face-to-face business events industry continues to work tirelessly to bring back international exhibitors and attendees to our conferences and trade shows, this welcome news removes one of the key barriers to jump-starting our industry’s recovery and getting people from around the world back to business at our U.S. events.”

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, prior to the pandemic, the country's travel and tourism industry in 2019 welcomed a total of 79.4 million international visitors who contributed $239.4 billion to the economy.

The department has recently rolled out a five-year National Travel and Tourism Strategy 2022, outlining plans to attract 90 million international visitors who will spend US$279 billion annually. The plans include leveraging large-scale consumer events, such as the 2026 FIFA World Cup, EXPO 2027 (if awarded to the United States) and the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.



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