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One minute after midnight tomorrow, the U.S. removes one of the most challenging aspects for its citizens traveling abroad: the requirement to test negative for Covid-19 one day before returning home.

 

We applaud the news, and it could not have come at a better time for Britton and her grandmother. They are finishing up an Emerald Cruises’ voyage on the Rhone. This morning, both tested positive for Covid-19 before their scheduled flights tomorrow. Emerald has already rebooked their flights for Monday, giving them two days to enjoy Lyon, with masks on, of course. If not for the removal of the testing requirement, they would have to stay in Lyon until testing negative.

 

Four others on the cruise also tested positive, but not everyone was required to test. Some, for example, were from the U.K., where testing before returning home is not required. Others were staying in Europe before returning to the U.S.

 

The news marking the end of testing was welcomed by river cruise companies. Said Ellen Bettridge, President & CEO of Uniworld, “Since the start of the pandemic, our U.S. customers expressed that the testing requirement for re-entry is the number one thing holding them back from traveling internationally, and we’re thrilled that this barrier has been lifted.”

 

The Twittersphere also celebrated the news: Former Harvard Professor of Medicine and Epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff tweeted: “CDC finally ends the non-sensical covid testing requirement for air travel into the US.”

 

Jennifer Nuzzo, an infectious diseases expert at Brown University, tweeted a similar sentiment: “It’s unclear what pre-arrival testing was actually achieving. My experience getting tested abroad left me unconvinced that tests were actually being performed in a useful way. It seemed more likely that I got a negative result for a price.” 

 

As for those euros you would have spent in the frenzy to get tested? Relax, and spend the money instead on a cocktail before boarding.

 

U.S. travelers returning home from Europe will no longer need to visit testing centers like this one at Frankfurt Airport one day before their flights – or pay the fees for testing.

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