When will the US drop Covid testing for arrivals? Your travel questions answered

With the May half-term and summer holidays approaching, travel to the US continues to ramp up and accordingly, your questions are increasingly focused on whether the country will drop testing requirements for UK arrivals.

International travel to the US resumed on 8 November 2021, when a new policy reopened its borders to fully vaccinated foreign nationals. All arrivals by air, aged over two, must also present a negative Covid test, taken no more than one day prior to travel.

While a booster dose is not a requirement for entry, restrictions are not as tight as some European countries, but the vaccine mandate and tight-window of one day for pre-departure Covid tests is proving a barrier for many to visit the US. Arrivals by air (not land, via the Mexico or Canada borders) must present a negative result from a professionally-supervised PCR or rapid antigen test, taken up to one day before travel.

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This week, the US Travel Association and hundreds of signatories – from Disney to Delta – called on the Biden administration to scrap Covid entry restrictions, bringing the US more into line with the requirements of other nations in Europe, as well as Canada and Australia which no longer require pre-departure tests.

It underlined that international tourist revenue is down 78 percent compared to pre-pandemic.

While there has been no indication from the White House as to when Proclamation 10294 is likely to be amended, industry spokespeople have recently indicated that they expect imminent change.

Several airline chief executives wrote to President Biden in late March, urging him to relax entry rules. Soon after, the requirement for all passengers to wear masks on flights to the US was dropped. Glen Hauenstein, CEO of Atlanta-based airline Delta, subsequently said he was preparing for a “very, very robust” summer and that he expected pre-departure testing to be dropped soon.

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