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Several different airlines across the country have come together in an effort to fight the Covid-19 testing rule that is currently required to enter the country by air. Although several countries around the world have significantly relaxed or removed their Covid-19-related entry requirements, the United States has yet to do so. Even though its close neighbors Canada and Mexico do not require testing, the United States has stood firm on the rule and the country’s airlines are unhappy.
With all the signs pointing to a busy summer of travel – despite the problems facing the industry – as things stand, it will be American travelers returning home who are out of luck and out of pocket. regarding current testing rules. Here’s a look at what airlines have had to say about the current Covid-19 testing rules, why they feel they need to go and what steps they’ve taken to get them changed.
Airline Challenge Test Requirements – Information for Travelers
According to the CDC, travelers to the United States — regardless of their vaccination status or citizenship — must take a Covid-19 virus test no later than 1 day before their flight. Alternatively, travelers can also present proof of recovery from Covid-19 in the form of a positive test result taken no more than 90 days before flight departure and a letter from an approved healthcare provider or a public health official stating that they are cleared to travel.
Where once this was the norm in countries around the world at the height of the pandemic, many countries have now removed such a requirement – leave the United States in the dark ages of travel regarding entry requirements. However, major airlines across the country are fighting to have the rule overturned to make it easier for travelers to enter the country.
The US testing rules have been described by American Airlines Chief Executive Robert Isom as “absurd” – and he’s right. Isom pointed to the fact that the Boston Red Sox baseball team flew to Toronto to play a game, but took a bus home to avoid testing requirements, those crossing the land border n ‘not needing to take a Covid-19 test like those who fly to the United States.
Isom, who made his case to politicians during the week, also pointed to the negative impact the rule was having on U.S. tourism. Currently, international travel numbers to the United States are down 14% from pre-pandemic levels as Americans fear they will test positive and find themselves stranded abroad. He also said that 75% of countries currently served by American have no testing requirements.
Delta was also among the airlines criticizing the current policy, with chief executive Ed Bastian pointing out that 44 of the airline’s 50 countries do not require testing. Bastian said removing the policy would lead to a travel boom. He said:
“We know this will help entice and entice travelers to go abroad, bring more trade, more business, so hopefully it will soon.”
Airlines for America, a trade association and lobby group that represents major North American airlines, also met with a deputy White House Covid-19 coordinator on Tuesday in a bid to try to overturn the testing rules. While the government has yet to give any indication that the requirement will be dropped, travelers are hoping that continued pressure from all sides will lead to changes sooner rather than later.
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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions may change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm entry of your nationality and/or any changes to travel conditions before travelling. Travel Off Path does not approve travel against government advice
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