COVID testing scrapped for US

by Charlotte Flach

The U.S. is to drop the stipulation that requires travellers to show a negative COVID-19 test taken 24 hours before travelling to the USA. 

This change becomes effective at 12.01am EST on Sunday June 12.

News of the change followed heavy lobbying from across the travel trade, and came immediately after a successful IPW2022 trade event in Orlando.

Chair of the Visit USA Association (UK), Julie Greenhill said: “This is the positive news that we and our membership have been campaigning for over the last few months.  

“The decision to rescind the need for pre-departure testing will make a trip to the USA much more desirable and affordable for the UK consumer.  The announcement will assist in the recovery of the UK to USA travel industry and our tour operator and airline members are starting to see an uptick in confirmed bookings for the second half of this year and for 2023.”

Sean Doyle, British Airways' Chairman and CEO commented: "We're thrilled that our customers will finally be able to travel hassle-free to the 26 destinations we fly to in the U.S, without the need to take expensive and onerous tests. With the summer holidays fast approaching, customers can try out our new routes to Portland and Pittsburgh, popular destinations like Austin and New Orleans, and firm favourites like New York and Los Angeles."

A spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic said the removal of pre-departure testing for international arrivals to the U.S. "will boost consumer confidence". 

The airline's line-up of U.S. destinations includes  a new London-Heathrow to Austin, Texas, service.  

The Visit USA Association (UK) publishes an annual online Travel Planner, in association with BMI Publishing, the company behind Selling Tavel. Content is written by experts on travel to the country and includes featres on the many and diverse holiday experiences found from coast to coast, along with contact details of trusted Visit USA (UK) members who are ready to assist and advise on holiday bookings.

Visitors to the website can take advantage of the online planner, as well as accessing the digital magazine and informative blog articles, special offers, travel opportunities from members and tips and ideas for US travel.

To download visit visitusa.org.uk/travelplanner

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