International visitors who travel to the United States by air will soon no longer be required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

The White House released the announcement Monday soon after Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Reps. Chris Stewart, Burgess Owens, John Curtis and Blake Moore sent a letter protesting the long-standing restriction.

The members of Utah’s congressional delegation signed a joint letter asking President Joe Biden to lift the vaccination requirement on foreign travelers, according to a copy of the letter provided to the Deseret News.

The letter said the administration should end its mandate on May 11, the day the president previously decided will mark the official end of the COVID-19 national emergency and public health emergency declarations.

“This requirement is an unnecessary burden on international guests, does not protect public safety, and is negatively impacting the U.S. tourism industry,” the letter said. The elected officials compared America’s continued requirements with other countries around the world, including all 27 European Union member states that have dropped the requirement.

They said Utah’s tourism industry continues to suffer because of the rule.

Later Monday afternoon, the Biden administration announced that the restriction will end for international air travelers on May 11, as well as for all federal employees and contractors.

“Our administration’s vaccination requirements helped ensure the safety of workers in critical workforces,” the White House said in a press release. “While vaccination remains one of the most important tools in advancing the health and safety of employees and promoting the efficiency of workplaces, we are in a different phase of our response when these measures are no longer necessary.”

The press release didn’t mention the Utah delegation’s letter or any of Congress’ recent bills about bringing the rule to an end.

Shortly after the White House announcement, Lee tweeted that it is “great for Utah” and that the mandate “should have ended a long time ago, but better late than never.”

The GOP-controlled House of Representatives voted to end the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for foreign travelers in early February, with some Democrats voting in favor of the bill.

A few weeks later, Lee introduced the Fair Removal of Existing and Enforcing Bans on Immunization Relating to Destination (FREEBIRD) Act to likewise end the vaccination requirement.

“This mandate levies a particularly heavy cost on state and local economies and American relationships. Continuing this mandate at a time when the president of the United States himself declared that the pandemic is over is unjustified and it ignores the new risk calculus that is affording Americans a renewed sense of normalcy,” he said on the Senate floor in March.

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Lee also said the exclusion of international tennis star Novak Djokovic from tournaments hosted in the United States because he has chosen not to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is a “senseless, meaningless policy.”

However, Lee’s bill did not pass a unanimous consent vote at the time. And the GOP House bill has not been considered by the Democrat-controlled Senate.

With Monday’s announcement, foreign travelers will not be required starting on May 11 to have proof of a COVID-19 vaccination just as the U.S. enters its summer tourism season.