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Friday, March 24, 2023

Drop Testing Requirements for Vaccinated Travelers, Says GBTA

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The Global Business Travel Association on Thursday called on governments in Americas and Europe to drop Covid-19 testing requirements for vaccinated travelers, calling the restrictions barriers to business travel recovery—something for which travel management company CWT has evidence.

Citing a recent poll, GBTA indicated nearly 50 percent of its global corporate members would like to drop entry test requirements for vaccinated travelers. 

“As long as confusing and unnecessary testing measures are maintained, previously forecast estimates for business travel recovery by 2023 are at risk (subject to further lifting of travel rules) and will push the return to pre-pandemic levels into 2024,” according to a GBTA statement.

According to CWT, relaxing of testing and quarantine requirements indeed stimulates business travel. When the U.K. on Jan. 24 announced it would discontinue testing for vaccinated travelers on Feb. 11, outbound international bookings increased 115 percent and inbound bookings increased 169 percent, according to the TMC. When India eased its restrictions in February, bookings there rose 64 percent for outbound and 139 percent for inbound travel, according to CWT.

Said CWT CEO Michelle McKinney Frymire in a statement, “The strength of pent-up demand for business travel is clear. We are seeing the highest levels of business travel since the pandemic began and, while traveler health and safety must always remain the number-one priority, removing hurdles and uncertainty will be key in achieving a full recovery.”

RELATED: European Aviation Bodies Call for Removal of Remaining Restrictions

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