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CDC Says U.S. ‘Not Ready’ To Lift Testing Requirements For Travelers

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The U.S. Centers of Disease Control recently announced that it isn’t ready to lift the testing requirements for all incoming travelers that are currently in place. 

CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky spoke to a reporter at Yahoo Finance earlier this week, sharing that she is “cautiously optimistic” about the recent drop in Covid hospitalizations in the United States, because the drop is coming from a very high level. 

While cases spiked heavily over the holiday season, hospitalizations remain at a high point as we pass this Omicron wave. She clarified that, “We came down from a very high level and our hospitalizations right now are higher than they ever were during the peak of our Delta surge.”

Distressed Woman Resting On Her Own Luggage At Airport

‘We’re Not Quite Ready To Do So Yet’, Says CDC Director

When asked about changing direction on the testing requirements that are still in place for international arrivals to the country, Dr. Walensky said that the CDC isn’t there yet.

“So, while we will look down the field and say ‘what does this look like?’ and ‘how can we relax some of our mitigation strategies?’ first we always need to be prepared for what may come around the corner. Second, we’re not quite ready to do so yet.”

Announcement Comes After States Ease Certain Covid Restrictions

This week’s update comes as some states across the country are lifting mask mandates in certain indoor settings and rolling back on other Covid precautions put in place throughout the pandemic.

As we approach the two-year mark of this pandemic, many are asking where we are going to go collectively as we continue to deal with this virus. 

And as some restrictions are being eased on the domestic front, some countries in Europe, including the U.K., Greece, Portugal and France have announced they are removing testing requirements for fully vaccinated international travelers. 

traveler wearing a red buret holding a camera and looking at the Eiffel Tower in Paris

ASTA Request For Testing Requirements To Be Scraped – Information For Travelers

And just last week, the president and CEO of the American Society of Travelers (ASTA) sent a request in the form of a letter to Jeffrey Zients, the White House’s official Covid recovery team coordinator.

The request was to scrap the pre-departure Covid testing requirement for fully vaccinated travelers coming to the U.S. The letter stated that, “Doing so is justified by the pervasiveness of Covid cases in all 50 states, increased immunity, and higher vaccination rates as well as new treatments.”

Young woman  holds a swab and medical tube for the coronavirus / covid19 home test

Once that first letter was issued, other institutions in the travel industry followed suit. The U.S. Travel Association, Airlines for America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, International Air Transport Association, Aerospace Industries Association were among the ones that also asked the White House to remove the testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers to the U.S.

The 24-hour window for the current pre-departure testing requirement that was put in place late last year has proven to be stressful for travelers, not to mention a continued hindrance on the travel industry.

According to an ASTA representative, pre-departure testing requirements are the “single biggest barrier to the full recovery of the international travel system.” There’s been no word so far from the White House in response to the request.

Business man traveling and wearing a face mask on the plane while using his laptop

CDC Do Not Travel List – Update

Earlier this week, the CDC added 7 more destinations to its weekly “Do Not Travel” list update for country health risk level. The “very high-risk” or “Do Not Travel” list is now at a total of 135 countries, which is the longest its ever been. 15 countries were added to the list at the beginning of February, including Mexico. 

traveler wearing a mask standing in front of a colorful colonial era building in Mexico

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This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest breaking news that will affect your next trip, please visit: Traveloffpath.com

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


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Atlas

Monday 14th of February 2022

The USA and especially the CDC need a regime change...

MizCricket

Thursday 10th of February 2022

The CDC has the U.S. in a hostage situation.

Sent to me today via email and sums up my viewpoint, too:

"I agree with CLIA - seems unnecessary/an overstep, against societal trends, and overly complicated. If cruise is already ahead of the curve when it comes to Covid (nearly 100% vaccinated), there's no need to keep kowtowing to the CDC. It seems (at least to me) highly unlikely that the cruise lines would decide to completely get rid of their health/safety protocols right away, even if they don't participate in the CDC program. What's the likelihood that cruise lines decide to opt out of the program now?"

And to answer the question put to me, I can only HOPE/PRAY that ALL cruise lines grow BIG cajones and tell the CDC "ENOUGH" of this BS stranglehold over their industry. The sooner one begins to opt out of this "program", the sooner the rest will follow (and get the ball rolling to end it all).

Travel clients are fed up with this up-and-down roller coaster ride we've all been on for the past two years and counting. Pandemics do NOT last two years! This "pandemic" and it's effects/affects has become highly politicized and controlling.

BTW, Wolensky and Fauci are NOT scientists -- NOT when they preface their comments about Covid with "I think..." and "I feel..." Those are baseless opinions, NOT irrefutable, factual science.

Liberty

Thursday 10th of February 2022

Send the truckers to the CDC next

Dennis G Mahood

Thursday 10th of February 2022

The closer it gets to the mid term elections you will see all this BS go away, so O'Brien can say See I did that I got rid of covivid 19.

Vinny the Adventurer

Thursday 10th of February 2022

Screw the CDC.