The U.S. Travel Association is the latest association to call on the White House to phase out pandemic-era restrictions.
The letter to incoming White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha asked for travel to resume fully. The letter pointed to countries like the United Kingdom and Canada, who have eased restrictions for travelers. The letter pointed to increased vaccination rates and the economic issues that the industry has faced since 2019.
“Given travel’s slow economic recovery, and in light of the improved public health metrics in the U.S. and medical advancements to prevent the worst outcomes of COVID-19, U.S. Travel calls on the incoming COVID response coordinator to prioritize the removal of travel requirements that no longer fit with the current environment and to set clear timelines and metrics for when others will be lifted,” the letter said.
The U.S. Travel Association asked Dr. Jha for the following changes:
- Immediately remove the pre-departure testing requirement for all fully vaccinated inbound international arrivals.
- By April 18, repeal the federal mask mandate for public transportation.
- End “avoid travel” advisories and the use of travel bans.
- Work with other countries to normalize travel conditions and entry requirements.
- By June 1, develop benchmarks and timelines for a pathway to the new normal that repeals pandemic-focused travel restrictions.
- Send a clear message to the American public and the world that it is safe to travel again, particularly for vaccinated individuals.
“Effective, risk-based policies can be reinstated at any time if new variants of concern emerge or the public health situation deteriorates,” the association said. “It is now time for the administration to lead the country towards a new normal for travel and on a faster path to a full and even economic recovery.”