Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP via Getty Images
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday that all air passengers entering the United States must provide a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their aircraft. The new rule enters into force on 26 January.
Coronavirus continues to ravage the country and surpasses previously unimaginable milestones day after day. Hundreds of thousands of new cases are reported daily, and the number of deaths is expected to exceed 400,000 in a few weeks. “As the United States is already in surge status, the test requirement for air passengers will help slow the spread of the virus as we work to vaccinate the American public,” the CDC said.
The CDC will require all passengers to undergo a test within three days of their departure. Written documentation of negative test results must be provided to the airline before boarding. Previously infected passengers can provide documentation of their recovery instead of a negative test result. Airlines do not allow passengers to board if they do not comply with the requirements.
In addition, the CDC recommends that passengers be tested again three to five days after arrival and stay at home for the first week. “Testing does not eliminate all risk,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield. “But when combined with a period of staying at home and daily precautions such as wearing masks and social distance, it can make travel safer, healthier and more responsible by reducing the spread on planes, airports and destinations.”