Business & Lobbying

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 Chao and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf 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.”

“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 Grisham (D), New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R), Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D).

Tags Andrew Cuomo Chad Wolf Elaine Chao Michelle Lujan Grisham Mike DeWine Muriel Bowser
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