The CDC announced Tuesday it will require a negative COVID-19 test from all international air passengers entering the United States.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage throughought the country and the world and a slow rollout of vaccinations, the CDC has announced new travel requirements for all international travelers coming the U.S.
Air passengers will be required to get a viral test within three days before their flight to the United States departs, and to provide written documentation of their lab results, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19, the agency said in a statement to CNN. This new requirement will go into effect on Jan. 26.
“Variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to emerge in countries around the world, and there is evidence of increased transmissibility of some of these variants. With the US already in surge status, the testing requirement for air passengers will help slow the spread of the virus as we work to vaccinate the American public.”Centers for Disease Control
There will be no give on this program. The CDC has confirmed that if a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to that customer.
“Testing does not eliminate all risk, but when combined with a period of staying at home and everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer, healthier, and more responsible by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at destinations,” Robert Redfield, CDC Director said in the statement.
The number of passengers arriving in the United States on international flights has surged since June as travel has rebounded despite the continuing pandemic, according to Martin Cetron, the director of the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.
The airline industry has voiced support for this new measure. In fact, airlines have been pushing for a testing program to help jumpstart international travel and confidence with air travel.
Airlines for America, the airline industry trade group, recently sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence asking for a global program to be put in place requiring rapid testing for all travel to the states.
Nicholas Calio, the group’s CEO, said in the letter, “These entry restrictions should be removed concurrently with the testing program, which will provide yet another layer of safety in the travel journey,”