COVID-19 testing restriction for international travel lifted in US

Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 5:40 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 13, 2022 at 7:29 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - One of the last pandemic traveling restrictions is now lifted. Passengers traveling internationally no longer have to show a negative COVID-19 test went entering the U.S.

International travel to the U.S. still lags far behind the resurgence domestic travel has seen at this point in the pandemic.

Now, the Biden Administration is ending its requirement that passengers traveling from overseas must have a negative COVID-19 test upon entry.

This is one of the last remaining restrictions on travel to come from the pandemic.

Airline and travel groups have been pressuring the administration to drop the requirement.

They say the requirement was put into place in early 2021 when few people had access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Now in the U.S. more than 70% of those five and older are vaccinated according to the CDC.

Those groups say continued restrictions are discouraging travelers from coming to the country. The Associated Press reported international travel in the U.S. is still a quarter less than it was in 2019 even as domestic travel makes a big bounce-back since the start of the pandemic.

But some doctors don’t know if it’s the right idea. Many see COVID-19 cases rising as the summer continues. At the end of May, the U.S. averaged about 100,000 COVID-19 cases a day about three times higher than the average this time last year.

In Shelby County the latest numbers show 339 new COVID-19 cases reported in 24 hours, last week we averaged more than 500 new cases a day.

Passengers have traditionally shown enthusiasm at the drop of pandemic-era restrictions like the end of the FAA mask mandate earlier this spring.

The CDC says it will monitor the current COVID-19 situation and reevaluate restrictions if needed.

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