The US started the pandemic with one of the most relaxed border approaches of any country, before introducing a rigid travel testing requirement which remains one of the most prohibitive in the world.
Even as risk averse countries, like Singapore, began ditching pre-travel testing, the US held on to the policy requiring all international travelers bound for the US to submit a supervised test result before boarding. According to reports, that’s set to end for good on Sunday, June 12th.
Here’s everything you need to know if you’re traveling before the 12th of June, and what it changes for the travel industry at large. Basically, the Americans are back.
Both inbound demand for travel to the United States and demand from Americans looking to leave the country should explode overnight.
US To Drop Travel Testing Requirement
Travel to the US has fallen behind other leading tourism nations, and fewer Americans are going abroad on international trips, despite surging general travel demand.
A Covid-19 testing policy which requires all travelers bound for, or returning to, the United States to submit a Covid-19 test result taken within 1 day of departure still has people spooked.
No US resident wants to get stranded abroad and risk missing work, and no tourist headed for the states wants find out that their big trip to the United States needs to be cancelled the day before embarking.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the US international testing policy will officially come to an end this Sunday, June 12th, 2022 at 12:01AM as the USA relaxes travel restrictions.
For many, it can’t come soon enough. Airlines are incredibly eager to restart many key international links, but the jeopardy brought on by the testing suppressed demand.
There may be some initial confusion, but flights departing to the United States anytime from Sunday the 12th of June onward shouldn’t require any testing before flight. That’ll certainly be true for fully vaccinated visitors. Unvaccinated visitors, without permanent resident status in the USA will still face bans.
The message today is simple: if you’re traveling to the US on or after June 12th, you won’t need to test. Risks of being stranded abroad, or having to cancel a US bound trip in the hours before departure should all but disappear with immediate effect.
The US Lost Pace With Travel Boon
Throughout the pandemic Asia was among the most conservative and risk averse in terms of border policies. Who would’ve thought the US would be the last hold out?
Virtually all Asian tourism hotspots, with the noted exception of Japan, now have less restrictive entry policies than the United States. That’ll change when the US shifts its course on the 12th.
You can enter Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia without any testing, and the same can be said for travel in most of Europe, Africa, South America, the Middle East and beyond.
We’ll update this story with more details as they emerge. If you’re traveling between now and Sunday, expect to test as usual, per the current restrictions. If you’re jetting off from 12:01AM EST on the 12th, you should be free and clear. Just don’t forget your ESTA!