Top industry groups press administration for May 1 roadmap to reopen international travel

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Top travel industry groups on Monday called on the Biden administration to develop a roadmap by May 1 to prepare for reopening international travel this summer.

The groups, including Airlines for America, the U.S. Travel Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Hotel and Lodging Association, asked the administration to partner with stakeholders in making this roadmap, from airlines to unions to theme parks. 

They argued in a letter to Jeff ZientsTop industry groups press administration for May 1 roadmap to reopen international travelJeff ZientsUS comes under pressure to share vaccines with rest of world Sunday shows preview: Democrats declare victory on COVID-19 stimulus; Vaccination efforts provide hope for summer Five things that must happen to get people vaccinated MORE[2][3][4][5][6][1], White House COVID-19 response team coordinator, that this roadmap could encourage travelers to prepare for and comply with requirements for when inbound and outbound international travel opens.

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The industry groups made clear they would not support easing public health protections like mask mandates, international testing requirements, and physical distancing measures during travel.

“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,” the groups wrote.

They called for the roadmap to avoid vaccine requirements as a prerequisite to travel and to exempt vaccinated individuals from the international testing requirements. President BidenTop industry groups press administration for May 1 roadmap to reopen international travelJoe BidenAstraZeneca says COVID-19 vaccine found 79 percent effective in US trial with no safety concerns The Hill’s Morning Report – Biden: Back to the future on immigration, Afghanistan, Iran This week: Senate works to confirm Biden picks ahead of break MORE[8][9][10][11][12][7] has directed states to have vaccinations available to all American adults by May 1. 

They also called for an update to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to state that vaccinated individuals can travel safely. The CDC recently said it would not yet change its recommendation against traveling for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. 

If travel from the top inbound markets to the U.S is able to safely resume by July 4 and reaches an average of 40 percent of 2019 levels for the remainder of 2021, it would add $ 30 billion in incremental spending and 225,000 American jobs would return, the groups said.

Other groups on the letter included Airports Council International-North America, National Air Carrier Association, Travel Management Coalition, and the Association of Flight Attendants—CWA.

[email protected] (Alex Gangitano)

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