U.S. drops Covid testing requirement for international travelers

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A man checks in at a Covid-19 testing site in the international arrivals area of Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California on December 22, 2021.
Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images

The Biden administration is dropping Covid-19 testing requirements for inbound air travelers from abroad, the White House said Friday.

The rule, put in place by the Trump administration in early 2021 and later tightened by the Biden administration, required inbound travelers, including U.S. citizens, to show proof of a negative Covid test before boarding U.S.-bound flights. Travelers entering the U.S. at land border crossings were exempt.

Airlines and other travel industry members had repeatedly pushed the administration for months to drop the requirement, arguing it was hurting international travel demand.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will reassess the decision in 90 days, according to a senior Biden administration official.

“If there is a need to reinstate a pre-departure testing requirement — including due to a new, concerning variant — CDC will not hesitate to act,” the official said.

CNBC’s Thomas Franck contributed to this article.

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