US to lift COVID test requirement for international travelers

US President Joe Biden's administration will lift the coronavirus test requirement for incoming international air travelers starting Sunday.

A White House spokesperson revealed the plan on Twitter on Friday. Travelers are currently required to have a negative COVID-19 test within a day before boarding their flights.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the change takes effect at 12:00 a.m., Eastern time, on Sunday. It says the requirement can be withdrawn because vaccinations and other factors have contributed to lower risk of severe disease and death across the US.

US media say visitors who are not US nationals will still have to show they have been fully vaccinated to enter the country.

Airlines had lobbied the government to lift the test mandate, hoping to revive inbound tourism.

The CDC says it will reassess the need for testing requirements if the situation changes.