Almost all air travelers will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test before entering the United States under the expanded testing requirements.
The CDC circulated rules for expanded COVID-19 testing
On Tuesday, it was announced that a new rule would require international air passengers to provide a negative result of the COVID-19 test, which will take effect on January 26. Nearly all passengers, including U.S. citizens, must present a negative test within three days of departure or documentation of recovery from the coronavirus. The rules were signed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield.
According to Reuters via Yahoo, travelers aged two and up must strictly comply except with passengers who will transit through the U.S. Besides, the CDC will consider waivers of COVID-19 testing requirements for airlines flying to other countries with little to no testing capacity, including places in the Caribbean.
The order broadens a requirement implemented on December 28 for travelers arriving from the United Kingdom.
Marty Cetron, director of CDC's global migration and quarantine division, said in an interview, "We have really up the ante... We have to take these mutations seriously."
Meanwhile, starting January 7, Canada will impose the same rules for almost all international arrivals, as many other countries did. Last week, the CDC confirmed it had circulated a proposal of expanding the testing requirements after discussing the idea for weeks.
White House officials opposed the requirements
Several White House officials mocked the rule and briefed on the matter, saying the U.S. public health officials had given up winning approval until President-elect Joe Biden took office. Redfield made an urgent case Monday at a White House meeting in adopting the COVId-19 testing requirements. The CDC Director raised his concern that the vaccines could not be as effective against other COVID-19 variants.
The industry trade group, Airlines for America, praised the testing requirement. It urged a ban to be dropped on non-U.S. visitors who have been in Brazil and most of Europe recently, but the White House chose not to end it.
The order prohibits anyone from taking air travel into the U.S. without presenting a negative COVID-19 test result, as per a press release from the CDC. Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases following a more contagious strain of COVID-19 discovered in the U.L., the travel requirement expanded. The Trump administration previously required all travelers flying out of the U.K. to show a negative test result before they can arrive in the states, Fox News reported.
CBS SF Bay Area via MSN says officials are hopeful of the negative COVID-19 test result before the departure in the U.S., the CDC's recommendations for travelers to get tested 3 to 5 days again after arrival, and the quarantine at home will help the country in combating the virus.
As of today, air passengers are required to get a viral test for the coronavirus infection within three days prior to flying to the U.S. and present either electronic or paper documentation proving a negative test result to the airline. Air passengers could also provide documentation of having recovered from the virus.