Long a relic of the pandemic era that made little sense in a nation in which all known variants have permeated, the USA will end its controversial testing requirement for inbound U.S. flights effective Sunday.
USA Drops COVID-19 International Travel Testing Requirement Effective June 12, 2022
The travel industry has aggressively lobbied the Biden Administration to drop pre-flight testing requirements for many months, with those requests falling upon deaf ears. This requirement has been in place since January 2021 and requires all passengers traveling to the USA by air to submit a negative COVID-19 or proof of recovery prior to departure. During the omicron surge, the testing window was shrunk to one calendar day.
Despite testing centers popping up all over the world and the relative ease of testing, the requirement proved to be a deterrent to many travelers to the USA, who saw the requirements as too burdensome.
Ahead of the busy summer travel months, the COVID-19 testing requirement will be lifted Sunday, June 12th, 2022 at 12:01AM.
According to a Biden Administration official, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “has determined based on the science and data that this requirement is no longer necessary at this time.” In reality, the tests became far less useful with the virus, and its many variants, already present on U.S. shores. Furthermore, I’m not convinced many of the tests were even effective. I am sure I am not the only one who has been swabbed very lightly and non-invasively for a “test” while abroad.
Celebrating the news, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said:
“Thank you to the administration for the announcement. This is another important step, not just for air travel, but also for all the tourism jobs that international travel supports. United Airlines has planned for this moment and will be the largest airline flying customers across the Atlantic Ocean this summer with approximately 25% more seats than we flew across the Atlantic pre-pandemic.”
At long last, the COVID-19 testing requirement for inbound flights to the USA will expire. Starting on Sunday, a pre-flight test will no longer be required.
You have to feel bad, somewhat, for the hundreds of testing centers that have sprung up around the world, catering toward inbound U.S. travelers. Many of those are small businesses started by well-meaning entrepreneurs. But really, the fact that the testing lasted this long should be seen as good fortune.
image: United Airlines
Finally, long overdue!
Does anyone know if Japan is open for travel? I remember not too long ago Matthew posted about how he was the only person in Polaris on his Tokyo flight, but if you look at the Tokyo flights now they’re completely full. I never heard anything about Japan reopening though so am confused why the flights are full now?
Still closed, except to group tours.
The reason why the flights are full is because Tokyo is layover gateway to Asia from the USA.
Finally some common sense. There was no logical reason for this and it was costing businesses money. Now I can go to the USVI and get on a day trip boat to Jost without the hassle to support these business owners and employees.
Now queue the Covid fanatics saying how this decision will kill people.
The folks doing the U.S. entry testing overseas, in my experience, understood that they were being paid to produce a negative test, not to determine whether the test subject has COVID. They knew where their bread was buttered.
I have yet to see clarification as to whether or not non-US Citizen/residents are still required to be vaccinated. Does that remain in place?
Yes, non-US citizens need proof of vaccination. I’ll be in NYC later in the year, so I’ve been checking.
I am so happy this decision was based on science. Starting Sunday makes total sense since Covid is still very bad until then.
About damn time!
Fully unmasked on flights + no Covid positive anxiety = back to Pre-pandemic style on a lot of TATL routes!
Now we need to see Asia clean up their covid phobia!
Yay! This very morning I put $400 worth of proctored covid tests in my virtual shopping cart, but got distracted and didn’t buy the tests. An hour later there was no need to buy the tests!
I also was making a backup plan to fly into Toronto and drive back into the US if needed. Thank goodness that wasn’t necessary.
Now let’s end this global warming BS and allow good old gas vehicles and then the cops can go back to killing black and brown people and white Republican males can go back to terrorism.
USA is back baby!
You know, if you tried making a positive, intelligent, thoughtful contribution to these message boards instead of this endless, tired, snarky bile, you might find your mood improves. I know everyone else would appreciate it.
He’s funny. I’d miss his posts.
“good old gas” — do you mean leaded gas? That stuff is delicious. They used to serve it in Polaris as PDB.
Then you watch THE GREAT GLOBAL WARMING SWINDLE HD – on Youtube.
Then you learn CO2 rises AFTER the temperature increases in ice cores – per Scientific American.
Hmmm….will the real cause of climate change stand up?
Or maybe it already has, but everyone is too brainwashed – CO2 believer or not.
I think they realized that we’re going to have to get a test for everything, including the new Monkeypox so they scrapped the whole thing.
The airlines are cheering this and yet they can’t keep up with the demand they already have. They’ve been reducing their summer schedules and somehow I doubt we’ll get through the next few months without an airline meltdown or two. So what with they do with the additional demand for travel, aside from hiking prices even higher?
What made the testing regime particularly ludicrous was that to fly, say, YYZ-NYC, I needed proof of a test. Taking the train from Niagara to NYC though did NOT require a test. Where’s the logic in that?