U.S. airlines and more than two dozen other industry groups on Monday urged the Biden administration to form a plan by May to lift international travel restrictions, including digital vaccine passport standards, after cross-border travel was devastated in the COVID pandemic.
Airlines for America, which represents major U.S. airlines like American, United, Southwest and others, sent a letter to Jeffrey Zients, the White House’s COVID-19 response team coordinator, saying the guidelines should exempt vaccinated people from international testing rules.
Among other recommendations, the groups asked that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention update its guidance to say that vaccinated people can safely travel, according to a copy of the letter viewed by CNBC.
“To be clear, at this time, we do not support removal or easing of core public health protections, such as the universal mask mandate, inbound international testing requirement, physical distancing or other measures that have made travel safer and reduced transmission of the virus,” said the letter, which was also signed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest flight attendant union and other industry groups. “However, the data and science demonstrate that the right public health measures are now in place to effectively mitigate risk and allow for the safe removal of entry restrictions.”