The Biden administration will no longer require travelers flying into the United States to test negative for Covid, multiple outlets reported on Friday morning.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make a formal announcement that it is rescinding the requirement — effective at midnight on Sunday — later on Friday. Currently, travelers must wait at least ten days before flying into the U.S. if they test positive for Covid before a flight.
A number of European countries, Canada, and Mexico had all previously dropped similar mandates months ago. The requirement, first implemented in January 2021, is no longer necessary “based on the science and data,” a senior administration official told CNN.
Airlines and the travel industry have been lobbying to get rid of the requirement for months.
The Covid test mandate for incoming travelers “is no longer aligned with the current epidemiological environment,” the group said in a statement after a May 31 meeting at the White House. “For months, our industry has urged Washington to sunset this pandemic-era policy, which continues to harm our nation’s economy and hinder air travel to the U.S.”
While the pre-departure test mandate for air travel remained in place, there was no similar mandate for entering the U.S. via land borders with Canada or Mexico. This incentivized some American travelers who contracted Covid abroad to fly into Canada or Mexico, and then cross into the U.S. by land to avoid getting stranded abroad for ten more days.