US lifts pre-travel Covid testing requirement

The United States has ended Covid-19 testing requirement for air travellers. The Biden Administration ruled that from Sunday 12 June those arriving in the country no longer had to prove a negative test for Covid-19 before entering the US.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cited a new phase of the pandemic in a statement confirming the rule change.

“Widespread uptake of highly effective Covid-19 vaccines, the availability of effective therapeutics, and the accrual of high rates of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity at the population level in the United States have all helped lower the risk of severe disease and death,” the agency said.

The new US rules are subject to change and the CDC said it continues to evaluate the latest science and state of the pandemic and will reassess the need for a testing requirement if the situation changes. The measure had been in place since January 2021.

Foreign arrivals to the US still need to be vaccinated, a requirement that has not changed. Children 17 and under are not required to be vaccinated.

Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA) vice-president for government affairs, Thomas Goodwin issued the following statement following the CDC announcement:

“ECA applauds the Biden administration and the CDC for lifting the pre-departure Covid-19 testing requirement for inbound international travellers. As the face-to-face business events industry continues to work tirelessly to bring back international exhibitors and attendees to our conferences and trade shows, this welcome news removes one of the key barriers to jumpstarting our industry’s recovery and getting people from across the country and around the world back to business at our US events.”

This important development comes at the end of ECA Legislative Action Week, which brought together leaders and advocates from across the face-to-face business events industry this week to meet with members of US Congress about the importance of enabling the return of international attendees and exhibitors by encouraging the Biden administration to remove the pre-departure testing requirement for inbound international travellers and restore visa interviewing and processing capacity at US embassies and consulates around the world to pre-pandemic levels.