The following is an excerpt from Yahoo! Finance via Reuters.
The U.S. Travel Association on Tuesday urged the White House to lift Covid-19 travel restrictions and repeal a mandate requiring masks on airplanes and in other transit modes by April 18, according to a letter seen by Reuters.
In a letter to Dr. Ashish Jha, the incoming White House Covid response coordinator, the group called for an immediate end to the pre-departure testing requirement for all fully vaccinated inbound international persons and ending the mask mandate by April 18 "or announcing a plan and timeline to repeal the federal mask mandate within the subsequent 90 days."
The travel industry also wants the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to end "avoid travel" advisories for all vaccinated individuals and urged the Biden administration to avoid the future "use of travel bans from specific countries."
It also calls by June 1 to "develop benchmarks and timelines for a pathway to the new normal that repeals pandemic-focused travel restrictions" including ending all remaining restrictions, including international vaccine and testing mandates.
The White House did not immediately comment. (Continued)
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As you are undoubtably aware, many European countries are suffering badly from a surge in the Omicron BA2 variant. For example, Germany currently has about 300 new cases per 100,000 per day. Many experts have been speculating (based on past behavior) that a similar surge will strike the US. Although cases nationwide are still falling slightly, the number of states reporting an increasing number of cases has grown from a handful to nearly half. New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Washington DC all have about 15 new cases per 100,000 per day, up about 50% over the past two weeks. A new surge could be beginning. No experts are saying a serious new surge is impossible. So government officials need to make sensible plans for possible FUTURE CONDITIONS as well as the improved conditions today. And those conditions are far from ideal with an average rate of 651 Americans dying every day of COVID - about 250,000 per year, or 6 times the average annual death toll from seasonal influenza. I've personally decided that things will have returned to normal when the risk of death posed by COVID is similar to seasonal influenza. .
In any case, I'd like you to remind your readers that our freedom to do what we want ends where our actions endanger others. For example, we have emissions controls on our vehicles and factories to protect us from air pollution. Plus an enormous number of regulations to ensure the safety of food in restaurants and grocery stores. Sitting for long periods of time in a crowded airplane or metro psychologically feels like the riskiest place to be during a pandemic. The excellent ventilation on airplanes may greatly reduce the danger posed by others without masks, but I doubt metros do. The most danger time on an airplane may be when people are tightly packed when boarding or deplaning. I greatly appreciate everything my fellow citizens have been doing to keep my family safer, including my ninety-something mother-in-law.