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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 Lan ChaoWomen set to take key roles in Biden administration New administration, House turnover raise prospects for more diversity on K Street Reinvesting in American leadership MORE and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfBiden picks first Latino to lead Homeland Security Republican senators urge Trump to label West Bank goods as 'Made in Israel' Judge says acting DHS secretary appointment unlawful, invalidates DACA suspension 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 GrishamHillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Netflix pledges billion for production spending, expands New Mexico studio Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet MORE (D), New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoMayor of Denver apologizes for holiday travel after advising residents to stay put Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Denver mayor flies to Mississippi for Thanksgiving after advising against travel MORE (D), Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWineCleveland coronavirus cases up 1,200 percent since early October Hogan ramps up criticism of Trump: 'Stop golfing and concede' More GOP governors embrace mask mandates, but holdouts remain MORE (R), Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) and D.C. Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserThe Hill's 12:30 Report: How to celebrate Thanksgiving safely Governors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience MORE (D).