Flying to the United States anytime soon? You’ll need proof of a negative COVID-19 test for that.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Tuesday (Jan. 12) that it will require a negative COVID-19 test from all air passengers entering the U.S. as it implements new measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
Air passengers will be required to get a viral test within three days (72 hours) of their departure flight to the U.S., and provide written documentation of their lab results, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19, the CDC states.
This order was signed by CDC Director Robert R. Redfield on Jan. 12 and will become effective on Jan. 26, 2021.
Passengers that do not comply with the new rules will be denied boarding by their airline, said the CDC.
The new policy adds to the CDC’s pre-departure testing requirement for flights out of the United Kingdom – a measure that was introduced last month in response to a new variant of COVID-19 researchers discovered in London.
“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,” said the CDC in a statement. “With the U.S. 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.”
To date, there are more than 22 million cases of COVID-19 reported in the U.S., including more than 375,000 deaths.
"Testing does not eliminate all risk,” stated Redfield, “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.”
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