The Biden administration will drop Covid testing requirements for inbound air travelers from abroad starting next Sunday.
The decision ends one of the longest-running travel restrictions since rules were put in place by the Trump administration early 2021 and later tightened by the Biden administration.
Inbound travelers, including U.S. citizens, were requested to show proof of a negative Covid test a day before boarding U.S.-bound flights. Travelers entering at land border crossings were exempt.
The Biden administration decision was welcomed by airlines and the travel industry that are facing one of the hardest hits since the pandemic started.
“International inbound travel is vitally important to businesses and workers across the country who have struggled to regain losses from this valuable sector,” Roger Dow, president of the U.S. Travel Association said in a statement.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will reassess the decision in 90 days. According to a CDC official the office “will not hesitate to act,” if conditions change. Other countries had previously abandoned covid testing entry rules.
In recent weeks, both Republicans and Democrats lawmakers have called for lifting restrictions. While the travel industry is saying the policy had been out of date for months.
According to reports the Biden administration plans to work with airlines to secure a smooth transition.