US drops mandatory COVID-19 tests for all international arrivals

The welcoming move offers a huge relief to travellers planning on flying down to the US this season.
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No need to worry about a COVID-19 test for a trip to the US anymore! Image: Shutterstock/Khosro.

After keeping up with it since the first outbreak of the pandemic, the United States has finally dropped COVID-19 testing as a mandatory requirement for international travellers arriving via air. Arrivals no longer have to show a negative RT-PCR test result or proof of recovery to enter the country. The decision was made on the basis of high vaccine uptake and widespread population immunity.

The move comes as a relief for those planning on flying down to the US for a trip soon. From hereon, international arrivals are not subjected to a pre-departure test, however, carrying a valid proof of complete vaccination is still a mandate, as informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a statement. It suggests vaccines, including boosters, for all visitors aged five and above.

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The skyline of New York City. Image: Shutterstock/IM_photo.

Currently, two of the Indian vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, have been accepted by the US. The CDC website mentions, “People vaccinated outside of the US who completed the primary series should receive all recommended boosters when eligible. People who received all recommended boosters with an accepted vaccine outside the United States are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines.”

The ‘primary series’ here refers to double vaccination shots. The travel industry in the States has been lobbying for months to get the government to drop COVID-19 testing. With this move, the US is expected to experience a high demand for travel the coming season.

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