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Airlines urge White House to end COVID international travel testing rules

Vacationers carrying protecting deal with masks to protect against the unfold of the coronavirus sickness (COVID-19) reclaim their luggage at the airport in Denver, Colorado, U.S., November 24, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt/File Picture

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WASHINGTON, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Key airways, enterprise and journey teams urged the White Household on Wednesday to finish COVID-19 pre-departure tests needs for vaccinated intercontinental travellers touring to the United States.

Airlines for The usa, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Intercontinental Air Transport Affiliation, Aerospace Industries Association, the U.S. Vacation Affiliation and other teams called for transform in a letter to White House coronavirus reaction coordinator Jeff Zients.

“Surveys of air travellers show that pre-departure tests is a main element in the choice not to journey internationally. People just are unwilling to just take the possibility that they will be not able to return to the U.S.,” they wrote.

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The White Household declined to comment. Airways for The usa, which signifies American Airways, Delta Air Traces Inc (DAL.N), United Airlines Holdings and many others explained as of past week global air journey was down 38% about 2019 ranges.

In December, the Biden administration imposed tougher new policies necessitating intercontinental air vacationers arriving in the United States to receive a detrimental COVID-19 take a look at within just just one working day of vacation.

Less than prior policies, vaccinated worldwide air vacationers could existing a negative take a look at result attained in just three times of their day of departure.

The White Household and Facilities for Ailment Handle (CDC) previously thought of but have never imposed tests requirements for Americans to board domestic flights.

The letter observed that more than 74.3 million people today have had COVID-19 in the United States, which means that at the very least 22% of the populace has experienced the virus.

“Plainly COVID is common throughout the U.S. and attempts to command its importation by way of air vacation less than today’s conditions are unlikely to adjust that simple fact,” it stated.

If any new threatening variants appeared “pre-departure testing could be easily reinstituted,” it added.

The European Union suggested countries get rid of intra-Europe COVID vacation limitations, the letter noted. Britain will end COVID predeparture screening for vaccinated air tourists to enter the country starting up Feb. 11.

The teams said “journey and aviation’s recovery is dependent on the authorities having techniques to eliminate vacation limits that are no extended justified by present-day circumstances.”

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Reporting by David Shepardson Enhancing by Leslie Adler and Stephen Coates

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