US CDC Not Ready to Lift Pre-Departure Testing for International Travel

US CDC Not Ready to Lift Pre-Departure Testing for International Travel

Despite calls to remove pre-departure tests for international arrivals, the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it is not ready to lift the coronavirus testing requirements.

As states begin to lift indoor mask mandates, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told Yahoo Finance that the agency is optimistic COVID-19 cases will continue to decline but will maintain current protocols due to the virus’ uncertainty.

Travel associations in the US have continued to push for the removal of the testing requirement, which many believe is responsible for international tourism still being 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,

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.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky

Last week, the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) sent a letter to the White House asking that vaccinated Americans returning to the US from abroad be exempt from the required pre-flight testing.

Another letter by the US Travel Association, Airlines for America, the US Chamber of Commerce, International Air Transport Association, Aerospace Industries Association, and other groups sent a letter to the White House requesting the same changes.

US Do Not Travel List

Even though the travel restrictions are being eased by European Union countries, the United States continues to advise its citizens against taking non-essential trips to the EU.

According to the data provided by CDC, all EU/Schengen Area countries currently have a “Level Four: Do Not Travel” advice. Some of the countries were added to the Level Four list earlier in 2021, while others were added later during the same year. 

The Level Four advice is the highest advisory level and means that all travellers, especially those who haven’t been vaccinated or recovered from the virus, must avoid taking unnecessary trips.

However, if someone has to take a trip to one of these countries, the authorities recommend that they receive all the required vaccine doses in order to avoid any health implications while abroad.

EU/Schengen States on US Level 4: Do Not Travel List

Austria (since October 2021)Italy (since December 2021)
Belgium (since November 2021)Latvia (since October 2021)
Bulgaria (since September 2021)Lithuania (since September 2021)
Croatia (since October 2021)Luxembourg (since November 2021)
Cyprus (since December 2021)Malta (since December 2021)
Czech Republic (since November 2021)Netherlands (since November 2021)
Denmark (since November 2021)Norway (since September 2021)
Estonia (since August 2021)Poland (since November 2021)
Finland (since December 2021)Portugal (since December 2021)
France (since December 2021)Romania (since January 2022)
Germany (since November 2021)Slovakia (since November 2021)
Greece (since August 2021)Slovenia (since September 2021)
Hungary (since November 2021)Spain (since December 2021)
Iceland (since November 2021)Sweden (since December 2021)
Ireland (since August 2021)Switzerland (since August 2021)

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