US CDC expands COVID-19 test requirement to all passengers

at 11:10 am
US CDC
Representative image

New Delhi (NVI): US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expanded coronavirus testing requirements for nearly all international air travelers, not just from Britain.

The new rules are to take effect from January 26.

The new restrictions require air passengers to get a COVID-19 test within three days of their flight to the US, and to provide written proof of the test result to the airline. Travelers can also provide documentation that they had the infection in the past and recovered.

“Air passengers are required to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within the 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19,” CDC said in a statement.

“Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before they board. 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 the passenger,” it added.

“Testing does not eliminate all risk,” says CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD, “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.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requirement expands on a similar one announced late last month for passengers coming from the United Kingdom.

The new measures are designed to try to prevent travelers from bringing in newer forms of the virus that scientists say can spread more easily.

Furthermore, the CDC order applies to US citizens as well as foreign travelers. The agency said it delayed the effective date until January 26 to give airlines and travelers time to comply.

In the US, more than 22 million cases have been reported to date, including more than 3,75,000 deaths.

-CHK