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Dozens of US Mayors Ask for Removal of COVID Inbound Testing
More than three dozen U.S. mayors, representing a nationwide cross-section of cities and counties, have sent a letter to the Biden Administration asking for the removal of the pre-departure COVID testing to enter the country by air.
The requirement for all airline passengers to take the test has been an ongoing saga as countries around the world have relaxed restrictions previously in place to deal with the pandemic.
Last month, for instance, more than 260 travel industry and business organizations sent a letter to White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha calling for the repeal of the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated international air travelers.
This morning, the U.S. Travel Association said a bipartisan group of 38 mayors from Miami to San Francisco also sent a letter to the White House asking for the removal of pre-departure testing. The mayors of Houston, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Philadelphia also sent separate letters to the administration with the same request.
“American cities are still struggling to regain international visitors after more than two years of pandemic-related restrictions,” the Mayors wrote in the letter. “In 2021, international visitation was a staggering 78 percent below pre-pandemic levels. Our constituents and our businesses suffered greatly from this steep decline in international travel spending, and they cannot fully recover until this vital sector of the U.S. economy rebounds.”
The letter was signed by Mayors from notable cities that rely on travel and tourism to feed their economy, including New York City, Miami, Tampa and more.
The U.S. Travel Association reports that more than 40 nations have recently lifted pre-departure testing requirements without negatively impacting public health. The group pointed out that the U.S. government does not require proof of a negative COVID-19 test at U.S. land border ports of entry.
Speaking from Orlando at the U.S. Travel Association international trade event IPW, U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow echoed the mayors’ request, calling the U.S. government’s pre-departure testing requirement an “unnecessary hurdle and major deterrent to traveling to the U.S.”
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