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CDC Announces End of COVID-19 Testing Requirement

‘The COVID-19 pandemic has now shifted to a new phase,’ officials told the media

The federal government will no longer require air travelers to test negative for COVID-19 before entering the United States.

The new comes after the travel industry struggled to adapt to COVID-19 regulations for over two years.

The Biden administration on Friday announced that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will no longer require U.S.-bound travelers to show a negative COVID-19 test as of Sunday. The CDC said that the requirement is no longer necessary at this time thanks to the widespread availability of vaccines and treatments,” per The Hill.

The testing requirement originally went into effect in January of 2021. Initially, passengers who were fully vaccinated were not required to submit proof of a negative COVID test. The Biden administration expanded the requirement to include all passengers regardless of their vaccination status when the omicron variant became prominent in November.

According to CNN, pre-arrival testing will no longer be required after midnight on June 12.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has now shifted to a new phase, due to the widespread uptake of highly effective Covid-19 vaccines, the availability of effective therapeutics, and the accrual of high rates of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity at the population level in the United States. Each of these measures has contributed to lower risk of severe disease and death across the United States,” the CDC said in a statement to the outlet.

The CDC will reevaluate the status of COVID-19 after 90 days and consider reinstating the policy.

A number of COVID-19 restrictions have been repealed since the pandemic peaked in January.

The Transportation Security Administration in April stopped enforcing the Biden administration’s rule mandating masks on planes, trains and other forms of public transportation after the mandate was struck down by a federal judge,” reports Axios.

The travel industry had lobbied for the end of the requirement now that the majority of the adult American population is vaccinated.

Airlines argued that the rule was put into effect when few Americans were vaccinated,” states AP News. “U.S. airlines estimate that dropping the test requirement will mean 4.3 million more passengers in one year.”

Because of travel restrictions and social distancing requirements, airlines lost a combined total of $320 billion in 2020 and $324 billion in 2021.

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