A U.S. travel industry trade group is calling on the Biden administration to follow in the footsteps of Canada by dropping vaccination rules for foreign visitors.
Tori Emerson Barnes, EVP of public affairs and policy at the U.S. Travel Association urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday to “immediately” suspend vaccination requirements.
“Ottawa is taking the right step by lifting its vaccine and testing requirement to enter Canada, which will give its economy a substantial boost,” Barnes said.
“Washington should follow suit by immediately suspending proof of vaccination for qualified visitors from Canada and other nations, given the wide access to effective Covid boosters and therapies”.
Despite being criticized as an outlier for its strict pandemic-era travel rules, Canada plans to strip back all of its COVID-19 restrictions from October 1, while Washington will still impose vaccination requirements on nearly all foreign visitors.
There are some limited exemptions, including for children under 18 years old, as well as diplomats and a small number of visa holders but most travelers who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 remain barred from entry.
The policy has been mocked because to be classed as fully vaccinated, travelers only need to have waited at least two weeks after their second dose of vaccine in a two-dose series.
The requirement does not account for booster doses.
On Monday, the Canadian government said high vaccination rates at home now meant it was possible to drop remaining travel restrictions like the controversial vaccination requirement, as well as a face mask mandate.
Travelers will also no longer be expected to complete COVID documentation.
The CDC has not changed its pandemic travel policy since June when the requirement for a pre-departure test was dropped.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.