(The Hill) — The Biden administration announced Friday that it is ending a requirement that international travelers test negative for the coronavirus before coming to the United States.
“CDC has determined based on the science and data that this requirement is no longer necessary at this time,” a senior administration official said.
The requirement ends starting at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.
Some experts had noted that the requirement did not seem to be serving many purposes, given that COVID-19 is already circulating widely within the United States.
The travel industry had also lobbied to remove the requirement, saying it was no longer needed.
“It’s unclear what pre-arrival testing was actually achieving,” tweeted Jennifer Nuzzo, an infectious disease expert at Brown University. “My experience getting tested abroad left me unconvinced that tests were actually being performed in a useful way. It seemed more likely that I got a negative result for a price.”
The move is another sign of a new era of COVID-19 where some of the measures designed when the virus was seen as an overwhelming crisis are being wound down.
“We are able to take this step because of the tremendous progress we’ve made in our fight against the virus: We have made lifesaving vaccines and treatments widely available and these tools are working to prevent serious illness and death, and are effective against the prevalent variants circulating in the U.S. and around the world,” the senior administration official said.