Major US Airlines and 25+ Aviation Industry Groups They urged the Joe Biden administration this week to draw up a plan by May that includes lifting restrictions on international travelers and standards for establishing digital health certificates to reactivate demand., after international flights in the country have been practically devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Airlines for America (A4A) -which groups together the country’s main carriers such as American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, Atlas Air, UPS, FedEx and Air Canada as associate member- sent a letter to Jeffrey Zients, coordinator of the White House coronavirus response team, arguing that the guidelines should exempt vaccinated people from international testing standards.
Among other recommendations, the groups also asked that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) update your guide to include the precept that vaccinated people can travel safely, according to the letter (in attached pdf document).
“To be clear, at this time, we do not support the removal or relaxation of basic public health protections, such as the universal mask-wearing mandate, the requirement for international arrival passenger testing, physical distancing, or other measures that they have made travel safer and helped contain the virus, ”said the letter, which was also signed by the US Chamber of Commerce, the largest union of flight attendants and other groups in the airline industry.
“However, the data and science show that the appropriate public health measures now exist to mitigate the risk effectively and allow the safe removal of entry restrictions.”
Most non-U.S. Citizens who have recently been to Europe, the U.K., and Brazil have been barred from entering the U.S. since last March, when then-President Donald Trump instituted the rules while COVID-19 was spreading. all over the world.
In January, President Joe Biden extended entry restrictions and added South Africa to the list due to an increase in infections and new, more contagious variants.
The group also asked the White House to set standards for digital health documents that can show immigration officials proof of vaccines or test results.
Meanwhile, airlines and officials have been looking for ways to use digital vaccines or health passports to help spur travel and eventually replace travel restrictions. Last week, the European Union proposed a digital health certificate with a QR code containing the vaccine and the results of the COVID-19 test.
Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian told “NBC Nightly News” last week that he expects digital vaccination passports and health information to be required for international travel.
The White House declined to comment, pointing to a recommendation against travel from CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Monday. “Now is not the time to travel,” he told a news conference.
“We are concerned not only with what happens when you are on the plane, but what happens when people travel, that is, they go out and mix with people who are not vaccinated,” he said.