May 16, 2022

Cortez Masto Leads Nevada Delegation in Urging the Administration to Support Nevada’s Tourism Industry by Removing COVID Testing Requirements for Fully Vaccinated International Travelers

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) led the entire Nevada Congressional delegation — including Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and Representatives Dina Titus (D-Nev.), Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), and Susie Lee (D-Nev.) — in a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to support Nevada’s travel and tourism economy by suspending the coronavirus testing requirement for fully vaccinated international travelers and taking other actions to spur recovery.

“We proudly represent the state of Nevada, where travel and tourism are a key driver of jobs and economic activity, and we write today to respectfully insist you consider additional ways to enhance and support the recovery of the travel, hospitality, and events industries,” the lawmakers wrote.

They continued by urging the administration to exempt fully vaccinated travelers from the federal order requiring proof of a negative coronavirus for all air passengers arriving from a foreign country. Many countries in Europe, Latina American, and South Asia have already dropped this requirement given the high efficacy of vaccines and uncertainty surrounding false positive tests.

“Our constituents who work in the travel industry tell us that the inbound testing order remains the single biggest barrier to the full recovery of the international travel system on which so many rely for their livelihoods. . . ,” the lawmakers continued. “While it will take more time for the industry to be fully restored, we believe that exempting fully vaccinated travelers from the inbound testing order will help speed the recovery of a sector so critical to the broader U.S. economy.”

The lawmakers also encouraged the Biden administration to do more to promote international travel and work with travel and tourism industry leaders to strengthen our international travel operations and encourage visitors.

The full text of the letter can be found here.

Senator Cortez Masto has been a champion of Nevada’s economy, supporting the travel and tourism sectors and working through her Innovation State Initiative to promote economic development and diversification. In the American Rescue Plan, Senator Cortez secured dedicated funding for the Economic Development Administration to help states like Nevada that were affected by job and revenue loss, including in the tourism and travel industries. During the height of the pandemic, Cortez Masto delivered resources to the state’s businesses and secured flexibility for the gaming industry In 2019 and 2022, she led bipartisan efforts to both secure the reauthorization of Brand USA through 2027, as well provide it flexibility to help the tourism industry recover. Brand USA is a public-private partnership that enhances tourism and job creation across the country.