The U.S. Travel Association praised the Senate's passage of HJ Res 7, a bill to terminate the federal COVID-19 emergency declaration ahead of its May 11 expiration date, claiming that the lifting of the vaccine mandate for travel to the U.S. will boost inbound tourism and the economy as a result.
"Today's bipartisan action by Congress to lift the vaccine requirement for travel to the U.S. eases a significant entry barrier for many global travelers that will move our country forward," U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman said in a statement on Wednesday.
"To further increase global competitiveness, the Biden administration must set a goal to reduce wait times to 21 days for U.S. visitor visas, which still exceed a year in our top 10 visa-requiring markets," he added.
"Together, these policies can help achieve the Commerce Department's goal of welcoming 90 million visitors annually by 2027. U.S. Travel Association extends its appreciation to Congress and urges President Biden to support the legislation."
The next step is for the White House to sign off on the bill, ending the vaccine mandate about a month ahead of its expiration date.
"The President strongly opposes HJ Res 7, and the administration is planning to wind down the COVID national emergency and public health emergency on May 11. If this bill comes to his desk, however, he will sign it, and the administration will continue working with agencies to wind down the national emergency with as much notice as possible to Americans who could potentially be impacted," a White House official said, according to The Hill.
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