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CDC Rescinds COVID-19 Testing Requirement for International Airline Passengers Entering the United States

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that as of June 12, 2022, international airline passengers (regardless of citizenship or vaccination status) are no longer required to provide proof of a negative viral COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States. The CDC will continue to evaluate the latest science and the state of the pandemic and will reassess the need for a testing requirement if the situation changes.

The government-mandated testing requirement for all international airline passengers was first implemented by the Biden administration in January 2021, in an effort to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 within the United States. Rescission of the testing requirement is expected to alleviate a key bottleneck for international travel to the United States by easing one of the government’s last remaining COVID-19–related entry requirements.

Despite the rescission of the mandated COVID-19 test prior to entry, there are two things travelers to the United States may want to note:

  • Vaccination requirements. The vaccination requirement for foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States remains in effect.
  • Visa appointment delays continue. Visa stamping appointments at embassies and consulates worldwide remain backlogged. Visa applicants may want to plan for delays accordingly.

Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor developments with respect to these and other policy changes and will post updates on the Immigration blog and in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.

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