US and UK travelers excited as CDC drops pre-flight COVID testing requirements

US and UK travelers excited as CDC drops pre-flight COVID testing requirements

US and UK travelers excited as CDC drops pre-flight COVID testing requirements

After nearly 500 days, the Biden administration ended pre-flight COVID-19 testing for passengers going to the US. Previously, both US and international passengers, vaccinated and unvaccinated, had to test negative for COVID-19 within 24 hours of flying to the US

Travelers were thrilled. As @AFARmedia put it: “No more worries about scrambling for a test or getting stuck abroad.”

But after such a long time, many were skeptical. So many people wondered if the end of testing was real that fact-checker VERIFY investigated. VERIFY found that as of June 12, yes, the CDC has lifted the COVID-19 testing requirements for international air travel.

On Twitter, potential passengers celebrated with often profane joy. Twitter user @1edsaint wrote on June 12, “no more covid tests to get back to the US, thanks gd.” @noisyrandy, a Canadian from Saskatchewan, cheered: “No more Covid test to go to Disney in July.”

@KellyKatharin, a keto coach from Jamaica, said in all caps: “NO MORE COVID TEST NEEDED TO ENTER THE US!!!” @DJSchemes seemed equally excited: “No more covid test to come back to America?!? Sh*t bout to get real.”

Will online excitement be turned into real tourist dollars as Europeans race to America and Americans race to Europe? According to MMGY Travel Intelligence, the answer from both sides of The Pond is simple: Yes, we will fly!

An MMGY survey polled 774 Americans and 436 British on June 12, 2022, immediately after the testing requirement was lifted. The goal was to determine whether ending COVID testing would affect their travel intentions.

The survey found that 36% of Americans are more likely to travel outside of the US within the next six months if the testing requirement is gone.

British respondents were even more emphatic. More than half of UK respondents (52%) said they would be more likely to travel to the US because the testing requirement for COVID-19 has been dropped.

While 44% of Americans said the news did not affect their intention to travel internationally, 20% said they would be less likely to travel internationally in the next six months without the testing requirement. Just 11% of Brits said ending the testing requirement would make them less likely to book a trip to the US

“The travel industry has been lobbying for this restriction to be lifted for months because the scientific data does not support its need,” said MMGY Global CEO Clayton Reid. “This is now removing a major barrier to continuing the international travel recovery, both inbound and outbound US”

But the end of the COVID tests is only part of the post-pandemic puzzle of returning international travel to previous levels.

The MMGY survey found that 59% of Americans said the cost of international airfare and lodging will influence their decision to travel. Another 47% said concerns about their personal safety related to violence and unrest will influence their decision to travel internationally.

Of UK respondents, 49% said the cost of airfare and accommodation will influence their decision to travel to the Americas, and 39% said personal safety concerns will influence their decisions. Data shows that crime rates in major US cities have increased by more than 30% since 2019.

Still, even the gamblers are coming. The American Gaming Association (AGA) says the US is now “on par” with other countries as pre-flight Covid tests for inbound airline passengers are dropped. AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said, “Welcoming back international business and leisure travelers will allow our country’s U.S. games industry and hospitality industry to make a full recovery.”

“I am pleased that CDC has suspended the onerous coronavirus testing requirement for international travelers, and I will continue to do everything I can to support the strong recovery of our hospitality industry,” said D-Nev Senator Catherine Cortez Masto ., Said. Nevada, with travel and gaming destinations of Las Vegas and Reno/Tahoe, yearns for the return of international tourism.

Bill Miller added: “We must not forget that there is still more that can be done to bring tourism back to pre-pandemic levels. We are asking the State Department to continue their work to speed up the processing time of international visas by investing in additional staff and allowing virtual interviews.”