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Travel restrictions lifting, CLT Airport sees large crowds

CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Starting Sunday, international travelers coming back to the United States will no longer have to get a COVID test despite a rise in COVID cases locally and statewide.

Passengers tell Queen City News they think it’s time for the COVID test mandate to be lifted mostly because, in some places, they say it’s not as easy to find testing sites as it is in the United States.

As for the rise in cases, they’ll take necessary precautions, maybe wearing a mask, but they say it’s time to see the world.

“It’s been very difficult to travel in the last couple of years and I think the world’s finally opening back up,” said Steve Goggans, who’s traveling from Charlotte to Budapest.

One of the final remaining COVID requirements for air travel is about to depart.

An official says the Biden administration is lifting the requirement that travelers coming into the United States have to take a COVID test before getting on their flights.

That goes into effect Sunday at 12:01 a.m.

“River cruise from Budapest to Vienna, over land trip to Prague,” said Goggans, describing his vacation.

COVID canceled Goggans’ trip three times. Now on his fourth try, he’s glad he won’t have to worry about getting a COVID test before coming back home.

“Definitely delighted! I’m a businessman, definitely concerned about getting back and getting trapped. We’ve known people who have gone over and been trapped for several days,” said Goggans.

“I’m fine with it because it’s been a real hassle, we’ve been to France a couple of times and it’s been a real hassle to get a test to come back in,” said Laura Leach, who’s traveling to Spain.

Even though she’s going to be across the globe, she’s still worried about rising COVID cases back home in Charlotte.

“Yes, taking precautions. We’ll be outside most, so hopefully, we’ll be ok,” said Leach.

Officials say the CDC will reassess the suspension of the COVID test requirement in 90 days, and it could be reinstated, if necessary.