CDC Has No Plans to Lift Testing Protocols for International Travel
Coronavirus testing requirements for arriving international travelers are here to stay, at least for now. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it doesn’t plan to make any changes just yet.
CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told Yahoo Finance that the agency is optimistic COVID-19 cases will continue to decline, but that the agency will maintain current protocols due to the virus’ uncertainty.
The removal of testing requirement is expected to be a boost for international tourism. While the sector has rebounded since the height of the pandemic, it is still down 38 percent compared to 2019.
“We came down from a very high level and our hospitalizations right now are higher than they ever were during the peak of our Delta surge,” Walensky said. “So, while we will look down the field and say ‘what does this look like?’ and ‘how can we relax some of our mitigation strategies?’ first we always need to be prepared for what may come around the corner. Second, we’re not quite ready to do so yet.”
Some states have already begun lifting indoor mask mandates, and several countries removed coronavirus testing protocols for fully vaccinated international travelers. Travel associations in the U.S. have continued to push for the removal of these testing requirements as well, but is seems that they will be here to stay for at least a bit longer. The CDC has not provided a timeframe on when it could lift these requirements.
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