U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on the broader U.S. airline industry calling on the federal government to pilot a COVID-19 testing program for international flights:
“We have long maintained that testing is the key to both safer travel and reopening the economy. More rapid, efficient testing allows for a broader reopening of the travel economy, and will enable organizations to more quickly restore lost jobs and rehire workers. Importantly, a robust testing program would allow America to welcome back international visitors, a segment of travel that has effectively disappeared since the start of the pandemic.
“Increased COVID-19 testing—paired with a federal framework of relief, protection and stimulus, as well as adherence to healthy travel habits such as wearing masks—can help shorten the recovery time and put America on the path toward an economic revival.
“We applaud the U.S. airlines for their efforts to move this issue forward, and we will continue to advocate for greater federal involvement in COVID-19 testing.”
U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. In 2020, travel generated $1.5 trillion in economic output and supported 11 million jobs, a drastic decline from pre-pandemic figures. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org for information and recovery-related data.