US Travel Agents: International travel rules changes long overdue

  • Biden Administration enables vaccinated travelers to enter the US with a negative COVID-19 test result prior to travel from early November.
  • ASTA views these changes as a key milestone toward restarting the international travel system on which so many of its members depend.
  • US administration’s announcement marks a key shift in managing the risks of COVID-19 from blanket considerations to assessment of individual risk.

The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) issues the following statement in response to reports that the Biden administration will lift travel restrictions starting in November on inbound travelers who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus:

“We welcome the Biden Administration’s announcement of long overdue changes to the myriad inbound travel restrictions that have been in place since early 2020. We view this as a key milestone toward restarting the international travel system on which so many of our members depend.

“Based on news reports, the plan incorporates several of the common-sense measures we called for along with our travel industry colleagues recently, including expeditiously developing clear vaccination and testing standards, loosening entry restrictions for fully-vaccinated travelers, and aligning standards with the governments of our main outbound markets, including Canada, the EU, and the U.K.

“There are bound to be challenges in implementing this program between now and November, and we (ASTA) look forward to working with the Administration and our members to resolve them as expeditiously as possible.

“The travel industry as a whole will not recover from COVID until international travel restarts in earnest. Today marks a big step forward toward that goal.”

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