By Emmanuel Adeleke
The United States has announced that COVID-19 tests would no longer be required for international travellers arriving in the country, a major step in the country’s gradual lifting of pandemic restrictions.
White House Assistant Press Secretary, Kevin Munoz, disclosed thia via his Twitter page on Friday, saying the testing requirement would end on Sunday June 12, after strong lobbying from the travel industry.
“All passengers had needed to show a negative COVID-19 viral test taken shortly before travel or proof of having recovered from the virus in the past 90 days, before they boarded their flight” he said
Munoz said President Joe Biden’s work on vaccines and treatments had been “critical” to easing the travel restrictions, adding that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would continue to evaluate COVID-19 data amid a recent rise in cases.
Last month, the United States crossed the threshold of 1 million COVID-19 deaths, with Biden acknowledging the “unrelenting” pain of bereaved families, and urging Americans to remain vigilant.
America recorded its first COVID-19 death on the West Coast, in February 2020.
Many mask mandates have been lifted but the country had recently recorded a spike in the number of daily virus cases, largely due to new Omicron subvariants.