Air passengers will be required to take a viral test within three days of their flight to the United States and to provide written documentation of their laboratory results or evidence of recovery from Covid-19, the agency said in a statement to CNN.
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield is expected to sign the order on Tuesday and it will take effect on January 26.
“Variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to occur in countries around the world, and there are signs of increased transmission of some of these variants,” the CDC said in a statement. “As the United States is already in surge status, the test requirement for air passengers will help curb the spread of the virus as we work to vaccinate the American public.”
if the passenger does not provide evidence of a negative test or refund or chooses not to take a test, the airline must not allow the passenger to board, the CDC said.
“Testing does not eliminate all risk, 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, at airports and in destinations, ”Redfield said in the statement.
The new variant of coronavirus, which appears to be more transmissible, has already been found in at least 10 states in samples dating back to mid-December.
An aviation industry group has expressed support for the new measure.
“[We are] writes to express our support for one [CDC] “proposals to control the spread of COVID-19, including variants of the virus, by implementing a global program that requires testing for travelers to the United States,” the industry organization Airlines for America wrote to Vice President Mike Pence on January 4.
The previous requirement for UK travelers was a response to a new coronavirus variant identified in the UK. While the variant appears to spread more easily, there is no evidence that it is more deadly or causes more serious illness, according to the CDC.
At least 72 cases of a variant first identified in the UK have been found in 10 US states, according to data released Monday by the CDC. It includes at least 32 cases in California, 22 cases in Florida, five cases in Minnesota, four cases in New York, three cases in Colorado, two cases in Connecticut, and one case each in Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Georgia.
The variant has been identified in dozens of countries around the world.
Michael Nedelman, Maggie Fox and Jamie Gumbrecht contributed to this report.