On Sunday, at one minute past midnight, the U.S. is set to drop its requirement for international air travelers to take a COVID-19 test within a day before boarding their flights.
According to widespread media reports in the States, a government official has said that the testing mandate – which expires just after midnight on Sunday – will not be extended.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the official, will re-evaluate the need for the testing requirement every 90 days in case a new variant emerges.
The U.S. put the requirement in place last year.
Airline and tourism industry pressure
The airline and tourism industries have been pressing the U.S. government for months to eliminate the testing requirement, saying it is discouraging people from booking international trips.
The official said the CDC will continue to recommend COVID-19 testing prior to air travel of any kind as a safety precaution.
The COVID testing restrictions were lifted at the land borders to the U.S. many months ago.
Until Sunday at midnight, these are still the COVID-19 rules for entry to the U.S.:
If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States. You must show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight.
If you recently recovered from COVID-19, you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from COVID-19 (i.e., your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).
With files from Associated Press