Travel industry leaders are calling on the White House to end major coronavirus requirements

2022-05-09 0 By

The letter was written by Jeffrey Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator:The Biden administration should end coronavirus testing requirements for vaccinated passengers preparing to travel to the United States because the virus is so prevalent in each state, travel industry leaders argued in a letter sent to the White House on Wednesday.The letter, addressed to Jeffrey Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said ending the requirement would support the recovery of the US tourism industry and would not threaten public health.The departure gate at Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London, England, Monday, Nov. 8, 2021.Photographer:Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty The U.S. travel industry has good reason to show signs of cautious optimism.According to the US Travel Association, travel spending in the US nearly reached pre-pandemic levels in December 2021.Total spending reached $92 billion, just 2 percent below the total for December 2019, the group said.The group noted that while there has been a recent slowdown, there appears to be pent-up demand for future travel.A passenger places his carry-on bag in the overhead compartment at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.(Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images) International travel also has room for growth.The number of overseas arrivals remained 51 percent below the level in December 2019, the report said.In a letter to Zients, who served as director of the National Economic Council under former President Barack Obama, he noted that more than 74.3 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus and cited the record number of the Omicron variant.They say air travel has little effect on infection rates.”It does not appear that new threat variants will emerge, but if they do, preflight detection can easily be restarted,” says the letter, signed by the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Aerospace Industries Association and others.