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US to lift requirement for international arrivals to take Covid test

An official said the need for the testing requirement would be re-evaluated every 90 days.

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION is lifting its requirement that international air travellers to the US take a Covid-19 test within a day before boarding their flights, easing one of the last remaining government mandates meant to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

A senior administration official said the mandate expires on Sunday at 12.01am eastern time in the US, saying the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that it is no longer necessary.

The official, speaking today, said that the agency would re-evaluate the need for the testing requirement every 90 days and that it could be reinstated if a troubling new variant emerges.

In an effort to win back billions of dollars in tourism revenue lost during the Covid-19 pandemic, the US government this week launched a plan to attract 90 million international travelers a year.

The five-year plan aims to add jobs and bring in an estimated $279 billion a year in spending by visiting tourists, the Commerce Department said.

“The impact of Covid-19 has taken a toll on our national and local economies, but it also has presented us with a unique opportunity to mold a more inclusive, equitable, sustainable and resilient travel and tourism industry than ever before,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement.

Prior to the pandemic, travel and tourism generated a $53.4 billion trade surplus and supported a million US jobs, the statement said.

Additional reporting from AFP

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