The United States will no longer require international air travellers to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test before entering the country.
Officials said they were dropping the requirement due to the country’s “tremendous progress” in fighting the virus.
The travel industry has been lobbying for an end to the policy, which they claim has discouraged bookings because families are afraid of becoming stranded abroad.
The change will take effect on Sunday.
In 90 days, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will re-evaluate the policy. The administration stated that it would “not hesitate to act” to reinstate the rule if new variants convinced officials that it was necessary.
“We are able to take this step because of the tremendous progress we’ve made in our fight against the virus: We have made lifesaving vaccines and treatments widely available and these tools are working to prevent serious illness and death, and are effective against the prevalent variants circulating in the US and around the world,” a senior official told reporters.
As the Omicron variant increased virus cases, US President Joe Biden tightened the policy to within one day of flying in December. Land crossings were exempt from the testing requirement.
Most non-US citizens must still be immunised to enter the country.
The number of Covid cases in the United States has dropped dramatically since January, though it has recently begun to rise again before plateauing. Because of the impact of the vaccination programme, deaths have remained significantly lower than during the peak of the pandemic.