SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — International travelers no longer need to test before heading to the U.S.
The CDC lifted the COVID-19 testing mandate for international travelers just after midnight. It said the mandate was no longer necessary with the widespread use of vaccines and therapeutics to treat the virus.
“Such a stress relief,” said Myriah Maasch, traveler.
Maasch is heading to Mexico and said the easing of the restriction has already made her trip easier. She said despite the lifting she still plans to play it safe.
“We're just going to keep our distance and if there's an opportunity to test. I will probably test as soon as I get back," said Maasch.
Even though it's not mandatory to test, the CDC does recommend doing so before and after traveling and when you come into contact with someone who is positive.
“AAA calculates that international travel so far is back to about sixty percent of pre-pandemic levels. That’s for u.S. People travel to international destinations. It’s actually quite a bit below where we were in 2019,” said Marie Montgomery, AAA SoCal.
She said the change has the potential to bring out more travelers.
"You're going to see an increase in demand for hotel rooms, an increase for attraction demand, and of course our local traffic will probably feel it as well."
The CDC said it will re-evaluate the mandate in 90 days and could reinstate it if a new variant emerges.