AGA “applauds” decision to drop pre-departure Covid testing

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has said the US is now on an “equal footing” with other countries as pre-flight Covid testing is scrapped for inbound air passengers.

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US-bound travellers no longer need to test negative for Covid-19 prior to departure, a decision that came into effect yesterday, Sunday 12 June.

Many industries that rely on international tourism welcomed this move, including the US gaming sector. AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said that easing restrictions for inbound air travellers will help the nation’s hospitality sector “fully recover.”

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

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

The US introduced testing for air passengers over a year ago, requiring all travellers to show a negative viral test taken no more than one day before departure. This applied to all passengers, regardless of age or vaccination status.

However, the rule has now been scrapped and sees the US join many other countries that have similarly lifted pre-flight testing requirements, including most of Europe.

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

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

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

“We ask the State Department to continue their work to speed up international visa processing time by investing in additional staff and allowing virtual interviews.”

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