AGA 'celebrates' US decision to abandon Covid tests before flights

The American Gaming Association (AGA) said the US is now on an “equal footing” with other countries as pre-flight Covid-19 testing will be eliminated for arriving passengers in the country.

Travelers bound for the US will no longer need to be tested for Covid-19 before traveling, a decision that took effect this Sunday, June 12.

Many industries that rely on international tourism cheered, including the US gaming sector. AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said easing restrictions for travelers entering the country will help the country’s hospitality industry “to fully recover”.

“The American Gaming Association applauds the White House’s decision to drop the Covid-19 testing requirement for international travelers to the United States,” Miller said.

“By welcoming business and leisure travelers back, the American gaming industry and our nation’s hospitality industry can fully recover.”

The US introduced passenger testing more than a year ago, requiring all travelers to show a negative test result taken no more than a day before departure. This applied to all passengers, regardless of age or vaccination status.

However, the rule was dropped and the United States joined many other countries that also lifted testing requirements, including most of Europe.

Miller continued, “This move puts the United States on an equal footing with other countries and will give a major boost to our nation’s travel and hospitality industries.”

“The AGA and our members have been champions of this change for months, and we are grateful for the Nevada delegation and other names in Congress who continue to support gaming communities across the country.”

But Miller added that “more must be done” before tourism can return to what it was before the pandemic. He noted: “At the same time, we must not forget that more can still be done to return tourism to pre-pandemic levels.”

“We urge the Department of State to continue its work to speed processing time for international visas by investing in additional staff and enabling virtual interviews,” he concluded.