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US Travel Association urges repeal of inbound testing requirements

May 06, 2022
3 min read
US Travel Association urges repeal of inbound testing requirements
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The U.S. Travel Association sent an open letter to the Biden administration yesterday urging an end to the COVID-19 testing requirement for inbound vaccinated air travelers.

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USTA — a lobbying group made up of 1,100 travel industry members, including airlines, airports, hotels, theme parks and tourism groups — sent the letter to Dr. Ashish Jha, the national coronavirus response coordinator, encouraging him to "immediately remove" the testing requirement. USTA says the requirement is no longer needed due to "the wide range of public health tools to effectively manage COVID-19."

Airlines for America, an airline-focused trade association, sent a separate letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Walensky.

Related: No sign of U.S. ending testing rules

Citing current business travel spending numbers, which are down 56% from 2019 levels, and a significant drop in international travel spending, which is 78% below 2019 figures, USTA and Airlines for America say the testing requirement is inhibiting international travel, resulting in high economic costs impacting their bottom line.

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The USTA letter further justifies the removal of the testing requirement by noting that many other countries "with similar infection, vaccination and hospitalization rates" have removed the testing requirement, including Canada, Germany and the U.K. Additionally, the May 5 letter references the decision by the U.S. earlier this year to scrap testing requirements for people entering the U.S. via land borders.

Related: Canada ends testing requirements

The Points Guy conducted a recent survey showing that the U.S. inbound testing requirement is having a negative impact on outbound travel as well. More than half of survey respondents indicated they would be more likely to travel internationally if the testing requirement was removed. Many U.S. travelers are concerned that they may be prevented from returning home after testing positive while abroad, thus facing additional costs and scheduling headaches from being placed in quarantine, according to the survey.

The recent removal of mask requirements for domestic flights signals other potential changes may continue to come as the world attempts to create a "new normal" of living with COVID-19.

Nevertheless, the CDC travel requirement remains unchanged since it was last updated on January 27. It states that all inbound air passengers to the U.S. age 2 years and older "will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than one day before you travel by air into the United States." Documentation of recent recovery from COVID-19 is also acceptable for entry.

Related: A country-by-country guide to where testing is not required

Featured image by Bloomberg via 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.

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Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
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  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • 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.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.