PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – It will soon be easier for people to fly into the United States as the Biden administration lifts testing requirements for travelers flying into the U.S. from abroad.
Starting Sunday, international travelers no longer need to test negative for COVID-19 before flying to the U.S.
Cecilia Rouse of the Council of Economic Advisors explained “I think this is a positive development, it reflects where we are in this pandemic.”
The travel industry, and Democrats in Congress, were pushing for the Biden administration to lift the testing requirement, something many other countries have already done.
“Domestic tourism is way up but international tourism is the problem, it’s lagging behind,” Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) said.
Congresswoman Titus says her district of Las Vegas, Nevada was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic due to its economic dependence on tourism.
“We want those international tourists because they stay longer and they spend more. So everything I heard was that the main deterrent was the requirement that people get tested before they come to this country,” Titus explained.
The expected increase in international tourists will boost revenue.
“We consider that an export in services, which actually is an increase in our GDP,” Rouse said.
But the increase in demand could also impact flight prices as Rouse explained it “will put more pressure on prices, so that will be, may potentially be inflationary.”
Those higher prices would be on top of the already higher prices due to inflation and fuel costs.