CDC officially ends COVID-19 test requirements for international travelers

A not-so-popular COVID-19 travel order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially been ended by director Rochelle Walensky.

According to The Hill, the COVID-19 testing requirement for international travelers, in which they were required to show a negative test or proof that they had recovered from previously having the virus, is no more.

Formally, the order will end on Sunday.

Without the strict COVID-19 testing requirements, international travelers are expected to be processed through airports much quicker.

The CDC order

In the signed order to end the requirements, Walensky and the CDC explained why it came into effect in the first place, and why the agency felt that the time to end it is now.

“The Order was one of several actions taken by the federal government during earlier phases of the COVID-19 pandemic to help mitigate the further transmission and spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants into and within the United States,” the order read.

It added: “At that time, CDC concluded that it was a reasonable and necessary measure in light of the increased risk of transmission and spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants by international air travel into the United States, as well as the low rate of vaccination and infection-induced immunity in the United States, and emergence of new variants of concern.”

Interestingly, the order concluded by boasting about available vaccines, and the availability of “effective therapeutics,” which many medical experts have claimed haven’t been promoted enough.

“Since then, many circumstances have changed, including the widespread uptake of effective COVID-19 vaccines and accompanying vaccine- and infection-induced immunity, as well as the availability of effective therapeutics,” the order concluded.

It’s about time

While the news was mostly celebrated, it didn’t come without critique, as many have claimed such COVID-19 testing requirements, based on the available science and data, should have ended months ago.

While there are several additional existing pandemic-related orders still in place within the travel industry, eliminating this one is at least one step close to a return to normalcy.

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