More than 260 travel industry and business organisations have called on the United States government to lift the pre-departure testing requirement for international air passengers who have completed their immunisation process against the virus.
Through a common letter addressed to White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr Ashish Jha, the travel industry and business organisations have called on the US authorities to abolish such requirements in order to facilitate the travel process, VisaGuide.World reports.
“Stronger immunity provided by vaccinations, boosters and prior infections, as well as effective treatments to prevent the worst outcomes of COVID-19, have enabled Americans to return to work safely, schools and normal activities—all without the need for indoor masks, frequent testing and physical distancing,” the letter reads.
According to the groups, these factors support the elimination of the pre-departure testing requirement for international passengers who have been vaccinated against the virus.
The letter says that the economic costs related to keeping in place the pre-departure testing requirement is significant, with international travel spending down by 78 per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels.
The groups have said that lifting such requirements for vaccinated international travellers would accelerate the return of international travel to and from the United States without increasing the risk of the spread of the Coronavirus and its new variants.
In addition, in the letter has also been mentioned the fact that many governments in other countries with similar infection rates, such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada, have lifted the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated passengers.
The letter says that since the US government does not require the negative result of the COVID-19 test upon arrival of persons from land border ports of entry with Canada and Mexico, it no longer makes sense to continue to apply the pre-departure COVID-19 testing requirement for vaccinated air travellers to the US.
The letter has also been signed by Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines Marriott International, the US Chamber of Commerce, Walt Disney Co’s Disney Parks, US Travel Association, among others.
Following the example of other countries worldwide, authorities in the US have imposed strict preventive measures for arrivals from other countries in order to halt the further spread of the Coronavirus, which has profoundly damaged many industries, including the travel and tourism industry.
According to the figures provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO), a total of 80,758,644 people have tested positive for the Coronavirus in the United States since the start of the pandemic, while 988,595 people have died.
At the same time, WHO figures also show that as of April 29, a total of 567,051,147 vaccine doses have been administered.