COVID Test No Longer Needed to Enter U.S.
Travelers to the U.S. no longer have to present a negative Covid-19 test to enter the country, eliminating what many considered an onerous requirement that is no longer medically necessary.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the change in rules, effective June 12, was due to “widespread uptake of highly effective Covid-19 vaccines, the availability of effective therapeutics, and the accrual of high rates of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity at the population level in the United States.”
The rule change applies only to air travel, but negative Covid-19 tests were not previously required for entry by land or sea.
As for Covid vaccination, U.S. citizens are not required to present proof of vaccination, but foreign visitors 18 and older are.
Wearing masks on airplanes is no longer required either, although it is still encouraged.
Costa Rica does not require a negative Covid test either (or proof of vaccination), so U.S. citizens can travel back and forth between the two countries without either document.
Canada, however, requires a negative Covid test for all adult travelers who are not fully vaccinated. Most countries in Europe have dropped testing requirements.
The new U.S. rule is not necessarily permanent and could be changed depending on Covid infection rates and any new variants of the virus that may arise.
“CDC continues to evaluate the latest science and state of the pandemic and will reassess the need for a testing requirement if the situation changes,” a CDC spokesperson said.
The travel industry, which had lobbied for the lifting of the Covid-test requirement, hailed the development.
“Today marks another huge step forward for the recovery of inbound air travel and the return of international travel to the United States,” said Roger Dow, president of the U.S. Travel Association.