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U.S. Travel is renewing its calls for the phasing out of pandemic-era restrictions in a letter to the incoming White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha.
In the letter, the association suggests transitioning to endemic-focused policies that will enable travel to resume fully and freely.
U.S. Travel points to the U.K. and Canada, which taken similar actions to ease remaining restrictions on travelers and is asking the new coordinator to prioritize the removal of travel requirements that no longer fit with the current environment and to set clear timelines and metrics for when others will be lifted.
The association made the following recommendations to help the travel industry recover:
—Immediately remove the pre-departure testing requirement for all fully vaccinated inbound international arrivals.
—By April 18, repeal the federal mask mandate for public transportation.
—End “avoid travel” advisories and the use of travel bans.
—Work with other countries to normalize travel conditions and entry requirements.
—By June 1, develop benchmarks and timelines for a pathway to the new normal that repeals pandemic-focused travel restrictions.
—Send a clear message to the American public and the world that it is safe to travel again, particularly for vaccinated individuals.
“Reasonable and effective risk-based policies can be reinstated at any time if new variants of concern emerge or if the public health situation deteriorates,” reads the letter. “However, we believe it is time for the administration to lead the country toward a new normal for travel and on a faster road to a full economic recovery.”