Statement from Tori Barnes, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs and Policy

U.S. Travel Association


On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance relaxing many COVID-19 related policies, including indoor mask mandates. 

Our response: U.S. Travel led a letter urging the Biden administration to replace pandemic-era travel advisories, requirements and restrictions, which was signed by the American Hotel and Lodging Association, Airlines for America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

What it said: The letter outlined six recommendations we are STRONGLY urging the administration to implement which will enable travel to resume fully and safely and accelerate the recovery of the American economy, including: 

  • Removing the pre-departure testing requirement for all fully vaccinated inbound international arrivals immediately
  • Repealing the federal mask mandate for public transportation networks or announcing a plan to repeal it by March 18
  • Ending “Avoid Travel” advisories and the use of travel bans
  • Working with other countries to normalize travel conditions and entry requirements  
  • Developing benchmarks and timelines for a pathway to the new normal that repeals pandemic-focused travel restrictions 
  • Sending a message that it is safe to travel again, particularly for vaccinated individuals

In the media: The letter gained media attention across mainstream news outlets in the hours following its release, including The Washington Post, Politico, Skift and Travel Pulse

What’s next: As we look to continue on a path toward a full economic recovery, it is time for the administration to lead the country towards a new normal for travel.

U.S. Travel remains ready to assist the Biden administration in advancing these necessary endemic-era policies and restoring the U.S. travel economy. We will continue to keep you informed on additional details and updates. 


Tori Barnes, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs and Policy

U.S. Travel Association