White House Lifts Mandatory Covid Testing in Airlines for Inbound Passengers

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Airlines have been pleading for months to lift a pandemic-era ban on international arrivals. The business may rue having its common request granted just ahead of the busiest time of year for travel now that the White House has eliminated mandated Covid testing for inbound travellers.

Travelers via air, like those at land ports of entry, will no longer be required to provide negative Covid test results as on June 12. Airline lobbyists and the US Travel Association have repeatedly advised the Biden administration that the rule has lowered traffic and delayed a recovery for long-haul foreign service.

However, the absence of obligatory tests could signal an increase in demand that the sector is unprepared to handle. The situation in Europe, where mandatory testing was abolished in the United Kingdom as early as January, is not encouraging.

From Dublin to London, Amsterdam to Frankfurt, Europe's airports are flooded with leisure tourists who can't be processed quickly enough due to a lack of staffing. Huge airport lines have become a travel blight across Europe, stirring the Irish government's wrath, compelling Dutch carrier KLM, a unit of Air France-KLM, to impose a ticket sales cap to assist lessen the pressure at its main hub, and encouraging airlines to reduce their itineraries.

According to the group, the lifting of the testing requirement in the United States will draw 5.4 million additional tourists and $9 billion in spending through the rest of 2022. According to the association's earlier prediction, the restriction would have maintained U.S. visitor arrivals at 48 million for the entire year, down 40% from 2019.

According to Transportation Security Administration data, overall passenger numbers at US airports have stayed somewhat below pre-pandemic levels. However, passenger numbers at some airports, including as Miami International, are higher than pre-pandemic levels, and the TSA advised travellers last month to be patient as loads rise this summer.

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