Airlines, tourism businesses push U.S. to eliminate travel restrictions

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Airlines and other tourism-related businesses are pushing the White House to draw up a plan in the next five weeks to boost international travel and eliminate restrictions that were imposed early in the pandemic.

More than two dozen groups made their request in a letter to the White House on Monday.

They want people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to be exempt from testing requirements before entering the United States. They also want the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to say that vaccinated people can travel safely.

The groups say those and other steps will speed up the recovery of the travel and airline industries, which have been devastated by a plunge in travel during the pandemic.

U.S. air travel is already picking up. More than 1 million people have passed through U.S. airport checkpoints each of the last 11 days, with Sunday’s total topping more than 1.5 million for the first time in more than a year. Passenger traffic is still below 2019 levels, however.

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