Business & Lobbying

Travel CEOs call for increased testing in coronavirus relief package

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Over a dozen CEOs from the travel industry urged Congress to take action to provide more extensive and better COVID-19 testing in the next coronavirus relief package on Monday.

The group, including Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson, Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta, Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian, and led by U.S. Travel Association CEO Roger Dow, wrote to President Trump and congressional leadership ahead of Senate Republicans’ release of their forthcoming coronavirus relief plan. 

The group called for improved accuracy and speed of data collection for testing and contact tracing, increased resources for rapid tests, investment in more testing sites, increased access to worker testing, and the development of tracing tools.

“The events of recent weeks have made very clear one indispensable component of efforts to spur a national recovery from the health and economic crises: broadening the availability of efficient, effective, 24-to-48-hour COVID-19 testing,” the group wrote. 

The letter referred to a white paper produced by the U.S. Travel Association that found that wider availability of testing would help determine if reopening is safe, help keep employees safe, promote safe and healthy travel, and restore consumer confidence and generate travel demand. 

The group endorsed the TEST Act, which would bolster the federal role in testing by supporting improvements in testing and reporting practices, and said that legislation should be included in the relief package. 

The Business Roundtable sent a letter to congressional leadership last week, calling for additional funding for testing and virus monitoring in the forthcoming coronavirus relief package. The group called for expanded testing and availability of testing sites in underserved areas and minority communities.

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