Skip to content

US dropping international COVID-19 testing requirement for travel into America

June 10, 2022
4 min read
US dropping international COVID-19 testing requirement for travel into America
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

After midnight on Sunday, travelers entering the U.S. will no longer have to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

The testing mandate will end for passengers boarding flights after 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, June 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement the agency tweeted Saturday morning.

The CDC’s announcement comes after Assistant White House press secretary Kevin Munoz confirmed Friday that the Biden Administration would end the requirement. CNN first reported Friday morning that the announcement was imminent.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Citing a “new phase” in the pandemic, the CDC pointed to the availability of therapeutics as well as widespread COVID-19 immunity produced by a combination of vaccinations and infections as the rationale for ending a requirement that "was needed at an earlier stage in the pandemic.”

Although the federal mask mandate for air travelers was overruled by a federal judge in late April and allowed to expire on May 3, the testing requirement had remained in place despite intense pressure from airline and travel industry groups. Critics have said that the mandate does not appear to have had any impact on limiting the spread of COVID-19 cases or new variants.

Many other countries and jurisdictions, including the European Union and Canada, have already dropped similar requirements. The United States has remained the most prominent holdout among Western nations in requiring incoming travelers to submit a test to enter, despite various calls from U.S. airlines, the U.S. Senate, the international travel industry and travelers themselves to ditch it.

"Today marks another huge step forward for the recovery of inbound air travel and the return of international travel to the United States," U.S. Travel Association president Roger Dow said in a statement. "The Biden administration is to be commended for this action, which will welcome back visitors from around the world and accelerate the recovery of the U.S. travel industry."

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Airlines for America, the trade group representing most major U.S. airlines, issued similar sentiments.

"Lifting this policy will help encourage and restore air travel to the United States, benefiting communities across the country that rely heavily on travel and tourism to support their local economies," president and CEO Nicholas E. Calio said. "We are eager to welcome the millions of travelers who are ready to come to the U.S. for vacation, business and reunions with loved ones."

The CDC first implemented the predeparture testing requirement in January 2021, and its terms have changed multiple times since then. Initially, all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, were able to supply proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days before their flight departed for the U.S.

This changed in November when the government started requiring unvaccinated U.S. travelers to test within one day of departure while allowing vaccinated travelers to continue following the three-day window.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter.

In December, the government streamlined entry requirements by shortening the previous testing window to require all travelers, independent of vaccination status, to test within one day of departure for the U.S.

Throughout its iterations, the predeparture testing rule has applied equally to Americans and non-U.S. citizens alike, though entry by the latter group has always been restricted to those who can show they are fully vaccinated.

Despite rescinding the requirement, the CDC issued a recommendation that travelers boarding a flight to the U.S. get tested within three days of departure and not travel if they are sick.

Additional reporting by Sean Cudahy and Caroline Tanner.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

Fair/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

    Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees