Dropped COVID-19 travel restrictions could be boon for Florida economy

Public officials estimate a 20 percent increase in international travel following the ease

The Biden administration announced that, as of midnight on June 12th, international travelers coming to the United States will no longer need a negative COVID-19 test to get into the country.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Biden administration announced that, as of midnight on June 12th, international travelers coming to the United States will no longer need a negative COVID-19 test to get into the country.

Travelers headed to Cancun leaving out of Orlando International Airport said they were relieved to hear that COVID-19 testing restrictions for travel had been lifted.

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Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer were two of 38 mayors across the country who wrote a letter urging the Biden administration to drop the mandate.

Demings said, “I believe that’s going to be positive for our economy, it will help increase international business into our area; if we do that, it has been estimated that we could see a 20 percent increase in international travel, and when they come to the US, we know that they come to Florida.”

A spokesperson for Visit Orlando told News 6 in a statement that they are encouraged by the move and the potential impact on area tourism.

“This news comes right on time for the summer season — one of the most anticipated seasons for travel — and we can expect to welcome an increased number of visitation from global travelers, business to thrive and a positive impact of our economy,” said Denise Spiegel, Sr. Director of Public Relations for Visit Orlando.

Bob Cook, a representative of Go Travel, said the company has been inundated with requests ever since the policy change was announced.

“It probably wasn’t even ten minutes after this was announced this morning that we were getting phone calls by people saying, ‘I think I wanna go to Europe now because I don’t have to do the testing coming home,’” Cook said. “...The clients that we’ve had go to Europe said the biggest inconvenience has been finding a place to get tested.”


About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.