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U.S. Government Eases International Travel Restrictions and Testing

News reports announced this week that the U.S. federal government will remove limitations on where international flights can land in the U.S. as well as plans to eliminate enhanced medical screenings of international passengers arriving to the U.S.

According to several news outlets, the U.S. federal government will remove limitations on airports at which international flights can land in the U.S. as well as eliminate enhanced medical screenings of international passengers arriving to the U.S. The changes are planned to take effect Monday, 14 September at 12:01 AM (EST).

This past spring and summer, the U.S. government began denying entry to any non-U.S. residents who have within the past fourteen days been to Brazil, the People’s Republic of China (excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau), the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Schengen Area of 26 European countries, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The announcement does not change that policy. However, other international passengers have been screened through fifteen airports with temperature checks and questions about symptoms.

However, according to an early draft of the new plan obtained by Reuters, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “is shifting its strategy and prioritizing other public health measures to reduce the risk of travel-related disease transmission.” It said that of 675,000 passengers screened at the 15 airports, fewer than 15 people have been identified as having COVID-19.

Alongside this development is the U.S. Department of State in conjunction with the CDC also  lifting the global Coronavirus travel advisory, now advising U.S. travelers to follow individual country travel advisories.

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How This Impacts Mobility

The U.S. has strictly enforced these rules over the summer in an effort to curb high rates of COVID-19. With the reportedly low rates of international passengers having the virus, the loosened restrictions on travel to the U.S. from certain countries will greatly affect workers’ ability to conduct the business travel that is essential to workforce mobility. Should any members have questions regarding this development, please reach out to Vice President, Member Engagement and Public Policy Rebecca Peters, rpeters@worldwideerc.org.

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