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U.S. Ends COVID Test Requirement for Overseas Travel

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks during a virtual COVID-19 summit, in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, in Washington, Sept. 22, 2021.

The U.S. is lifting its restriction for international travelers to take a COVID-19 test within a day before entering the country, easing one of the last remaining government mandates meant to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The Biden administration is removing the requirement for foreign travelers to take a COVID-19 test within a day of arriving in the United States, relaxing one of the few remaining government restrictions aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus.

The restriction will expire at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Sunday because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has judged that it is no longer essential, according to a senior administration official.

That official also said the government will evaluate the testing requirement every 90 days and that it may be reintroduced if a concerning new variation arises.

The previous restriction allowed those who had been fully vaccinated to provide proof of a negative test within three days of travel, while those who had not been vaccinated had to show proof of a negative test within one day of flying.

The airlines and tourism industry have pressured the government to repeal the testing requirement, alleging that it discourages people from booking international trips. Many other countries have eased their testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers in order to boost tourism.