The tourism sector has been lobbying the White House for months to lift the restrictions that weigh on the business
Neither antigens nor PCR. Starting today, travelers arriving in the United States will not have to prove that they are clean of covid. The Center for Infectious Disease Control (CDC) announced this Friday the decision, which is more political and economic than public health.
The tourism sector has been lobbying the White House for months to lift the restrictions on the business. Since January of last year, tourists could enter the United States if they previously demonstrated that they did not carry the dreaded virus in their body with a sample of antigens. That was already one step beyond the need to test it by PCR, which was changed last December when the wave of omicron hit. Due to its virulence, the need to restrict the test window to 24 hours prior to the game forced the standards to be lowered.
That had fostered a lucrative business at the airports, which nonetheless paled in comparison to that of tour operators, hotel chains and everything else the sector leaves behind in the economy, businessmen told President Joe Biden last month during a meeting at the White House. The local tourism sector is still seven points below pre-pandemic levels, while international tourism is at 14% of 2020 levels. Experts considered that these policies had expired because, at the moment, travelers cannot bring any variant that no longer exists in the United States. The restrictions had never been to protect other flight passengers, but to erect invisible barriers to strains of the virus developing in other countries.