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 Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Transportation Department Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine Lan ChaoCentury of the Woman: Can Leading Women Have it All? Female lawmakers, officials call for more women at all levels of government to improve equity The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association – Country reacts to debate night of mudslinging MORE and acting Homeland Security Department Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfVoting rights group files suit against Trump, administration officials alleging voter intimidation Business groups, universities file lawsuit over new rules targeting H-1B visas US extends Mexico, Canada border closures 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.”
“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 Grisham (D), New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoState officials plead for more info on vaccine distribution plans Overnight Health Care: NIH chief: Trump has not met with task force in ‘quite some time’ | CDC reports 300,000 more deaths than expected this year | UK to start challenge trials for vaccine Cuomo: Travel within Tri-State area should be avoided due to COVID-19 spike MORE (D), Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWineWhy isn’t the Trump campaign airing TV ads in Ohio? Sunday shows – Trump’s positive coronavirus test reverberates Ohio governor: I hope Trump’s positive coronavirus test serves as ‘cautionary tale’ to those who don’t wear masks MORE (R), Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) and D.C. Mayor Muriel BowserMuriel BowserDC cancels 2021 Cherry Blossom Parade over COVID-19 fears Federal court rules DC church can resume services outdoors despite city restrictions DC-area health officials urge COVID-19 testing for anyone