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Travel industry calls on Trump administration to prevent the need for quarantines by creating a testing plan

Travel industry calls on Trump administration to prevent the need for quarantines by creating a testing plan
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Travel industry groups called on the Trump administration to pursue an approach to COVID-19 testing that would obviate the need for quarantines and travel bans in order to safely re-open travel. 

Airlines for America, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the U.S. Travel Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others, wrote a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine ChaoThe FCC's decision to reallocate the safety band spectrum will impede efforts to save lives Top Democrat: FCC actions are a 'potential setback' to autonomous vehicles The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - US vaccine effort takes hit with Johnson & Johnson pause MORE and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfLawmakers slam DHS watchdog following report calling for 'multi-year transformation' Intel heads to resume worldwide threats hearing scrapped under Trump Sunday shows preview: Democrats eye passage of infrastructure bill; health experts warn of fourth coronavirus wave MORE on Thursday. 

The groups noted that in the U.S., 18 states currently have some type of quarantine in place and said that the patchwork of rules is “confusing and discourages travel.”

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“Furthermore, there are alternatives to quarantines, such as testing and screening of passengers at or ahead of departure, that can significantly reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19 and may actually be more effective due to the difficulties in enforcing compliance with quarantine requirements,” they wrote. 

The groups suggested that, as an alternative to an automated quarantine system, state governors and international governments should work together to implement comprehensive, cost-effective pre-departure testing procedures and contact tracing protocols.

“There is widespread agreement in the aviation and travel industries that appropriate COVID-19 pre-departure testing protocols can serve as an alternative to quarantines while increasing confidence in the health and safety of the air transportation system,” they wrote. 

Other groups on the letter included the Airports Council International-North America, the American Society of Travel Advisors, the Association of Flight Attendants and the Cargo Airline Association.

The letter was also copied to Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D), New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D), New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamNew Mexico launching vaccine sweepstakes with M in prizes The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting Biden vows to get 'more aggressive' on lifestyle benefits of vaccines MORE (D), New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoFoo Fighters, Dave Chapelle cover 'Creep' at first MSG show since pandemic Katie Hill says 'it would take a lot' to convince her to run again for House New York City moving thousands of people from hotels back to shelters MORE (D), Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWineOhio GOP governor comes out against controversial state anti-vaccine bill Overnight Health Care: Biden says US donation of 500 million vaccines will 'supercharge' global virus fight | Moderna asks FDA to clear COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents FDA extends shelf life of J&J vaccine amid concern over expiring doses MORE (R), Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) and D.C. Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserOvernight Health Care: Medicaid enrollment reaches new high | White House gives allocation plan for 55M doses | Schumer backs dental, vision, hearing in Medicare DC to offer gift cards to those getting first COVID-19 shot White House to host large outdoor gathering for July 4 MORE (D).