Hotels are scrambling. Airports are strategizing. Airlines are creating new apps.

Travel companies are rushing to make Covid-19 testing a regular part of international travel—as easy as checking a bag—to stem cancellations and get travelers traveling again.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order that requires anyone entering the U.S. to have a Covid-19 test within 72 hours of boarding triggered a massive travel-industry effort to make it easy for guests and passengers to comply. PCR tests and rapid antigen tests satisfy the requirement; rapid antibody tests don’t.

The order, announced Jan. 12, led to widespread confusion and cancellations, travel sellers say. Airlines Reporting Corp., which processes tickets sold by travel agencies, says that in December, tickets purchased for domestic trips tracked right with international tickets, both at 40% of 2019 sales. That continued into January, then split after the CDC announcement. By the week ended Sunday, preliminary data show domestic air tickets still close to 40% of the 2019 total, but international tickets fell to only 23% of 2019 sales.


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