The Biden administration decided to lift all Covid-19 testing requirements for inbound travelers reaching the country by plane starting June 12. The American Gaming Association (AGA) reacted positively to the news. AGA’s president and chief executive officer Bill Miller expressed the association’s high hopes regarding the full and speedy recovery of the country’s hospitality sector as a result of the decision.
What Does the Lift of All Covid-19 Testing Requirements Mean?
More than a year ago, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) decided to implement a series of additional protective measures to minimize the effects of the pandemic on the population. Among them is the need for flight passengers to show proof of post-Covid 19 recovery or a negative result to a Covid-19 test in order to be allowed access into the US.
The restriction was imposed on all passengers, regardless of their age or vaccination status. While these measures contributed to lowering the risk of severe cases and limited the loss of lives, they also severely impacted big sectors like tourism, gaming, and hospitality. Domestic flights were also impacted by the rise in Covid-19 cases in 2021, leading to more drops in revenues across numerous industries. At the beginning of June, the CDC finally ruled that the Covid-19 testing requirements for international travelers were no longer necessary.
The decision was based on the high rate of vaccination as well as the high levels of “herd immunity” obtained at a global level. Nonetheless, the CDC suggested that the measures may be brought back at some point.
For the time being, people traveling to the US by plane no longer need to test negative for Covid-19 prior to their plane taking off. This can only mean great news for all industries. AGA was among the first to respond.
Using the voice of its president and chief executive officer Bill Miller, AGA welcomed and applauded the decision. The association also expressed its thrill at the fact that the US will be joining numerous other European states and other parts of the world where similar flight restrictions were underway until recently. Miller added that the White House’s decision would place the country on equal footing with these countries while giving the travel and hospitality sectors a “major boost.” AGA has been lobbying for the lift of all air travel restrictions for months, so the decision is regarded as a huge victory. AGA projects the gaming and hospitality industries to go through a full process of successful recovery once international leisure and business travelers resume their flights.
AGA also thanked the Nevada delegation and Congress members who showed their support for the local gaming communities in the US. He also gave thanks to the CDC, the science and health community, and the White House for turning the difficult task into reality. However, Miller also emphasized that the need for additional measures before tourism in the US could go back to its pre-pandemic status. In this regard, he asked the State Department to keep speeding up the processing time for international visas by hiring more staff and giving the green light to virtual interviews.
A report released by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority last August provided a useful insight into the impact that the pandemic has had on the tourism industry in Southern Nevada.