NEWS: CDC Changes COVID-19 Testing Requirements For International Travel

To ensure we are equipping our readers with all the information they need, we will continue to report on all travel, safety, and COVID-related news that could impact a Disney Parks visit.

COVID-19 regulations have continued to change, both at the Disney parks and throughout the world. Currently, face masks are not required anywhere in Disney World, except inside First Aid stations. The Disney Cruise Line has also updated its policy, although the cruises still require passengers to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test before boarding.

Travel requirements are changing

Requirements are changing on a broader scale as well. For example, masks are no longer required on some airlines or in certain airports. Now, the Biden administration has made another major change to COVID-19 requirements, this one having to do with international travel.

Beginning at midnight on Sunday, June 12th, the CDC will remove its requirement for travelers to test negative for COVID-19 before entering the United States. This change was announced today, June 10th.

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This was confirmed by White House Assistant Press Secretary, Kevin Munoz. The CDC will continue to evaluate the needs for testing based on “the science and in context of circulating variants.”

For both US citizens re-entering the country and international travelers visiting the US, a negative COVID-19 test will no longer be required. This change comes as both the travel industry and politicians have advocated for the removal of the requirement in order to boost the US tourism numbers. According to CNN, the travel industry has been “increasingly critical of the requirement in recent weeks,” claiming that “it was having a chilling effect on an already fragile economy.”

Orlando Airport

90 days after the change, the CDC will reassess its decision to see if a COVID-19 testing requirement becomes necessary once again.

The Trade Association has reported that domestic travel is nearing pre-pandemic levels, but international travel is still about 14% below normal. The US Travel Association’s President and CEO Roger Dow said, “Prior to the pandemic, travel was one of our nation’s largest industry exports. The lifting of this requirement will enable the industry to lead the way toward a broader US economic and jobs recovery” (CNN).

Southwest Flight

Lately, Disney has been reporting international tourism numbers that are increasingly closer to pre-pandemic numbers, but their statistics have also fallen below the normal rates. With this change, we may see more international guests in the parks, especially as the summer travel season continues.

Crowds in Magic Kingdom

We’ve already seen an uptick in the crowds in Disney World, and we’re expecting the number of guests to continue to grow. If you’re planning to visit the parks soon, here are a few tips to help you navigate the big crowds:

  • Make dining reservations ASAP. You can begin making these reservations 60 days before your trip. Having a sit-down meal in the middle of the day can be a great way to escape the crowds and find some peace!
  • Consider using Genie+ and Pay-Per-Ride. To avoid those long wait times, you can decide if Genie+ ($15 per person, per day) or Pay-Per-Ride (between $7 and $15 per person, per ride, depending on the ride) are worth it. With those systems, you can reserve your spot to skip the line on certain rides.
  • Take advantage of the less busy times. Get to the parks before opening time and/or stay later in the evening in order to find the shortest wait times. If you’re staying at a Disney World hotel, remember that you can go inside each park 30 minutes BEFORE opening time every day.

And, of course, keep following DFB, because we’ll be bringing you all the latest news and best tips to help you make the most of your upcoming vacation.

Click here for an updated list of current COVID-19 and travel news for Disney World and Disneyland.

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The post NEWS: CDC Changes COVID-19 Testing Requirements For International Travel first appeared on the disney food blog.