Airlines, Travel Groups Press WH to Remove Vaccine, Testing Mandate
By Luca Cacciatore | Wednesday, 02 February 2022 09:23 PM
A group of airlines and travel groups has urged in a letter to White House counselor Jeffrey Zients to lift a testing requirement for vaccinated travelers, The Hill reported on Wednesday.
The letter follows a decision from the Biden administration in December that required all international air travelers to present a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours of flying.
''On behalf of the many sectors of the travel and aviation industries, we urgently request that the Administration remove the requirement for pre-departure testing for vaccinated passengers traveling to the United States,'' the letter read.
The group argued that the move would help the industries recover after almost two years into the pandemic.
''Doing so is justified by the pervasiveness of COVID cases in all 50 states, increased immunity and higher vaccination rates as well as new treatments. Removing the requirement will greatly support the recovery of travel and aviation in the United States and globally without increasing the spread of COVID-19 and its variants,'' they added.
The coalition noted that if a new variant were to appear, the mandate ''could be easily reinstituted.'' They also pointed to recommendations from the World Health Organization and the European Union that encourage dropping testing requirements among vaccinated people.
''Travel and aviation's recovery is dependent on the government taking steps to remove travel restrictions that are no longer justified by current circumstances,'' the letter continued.
Airlines for America, an organization made up of significant airlines including Delta Air Lines and American Airlines, signed the letter. The International Air Transport Association and the National Air Carrier Association were signatories as well.