Negative Covid Test Required for International Air Travelers to U.S.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded an order to require a negative coronavirus test from international airline passengers as Covid-19 cases spike around the country. The order goes into effect on Jan. 26. A negative test requirement was first introduced last month for those traveling from U.K. travelers in an effort to contain the more transmissible coronavirus variant detected in the region.
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. The new requirement will apply to all airline passengers ages 2 and older bound for the United States, including visitors, citizens and legal permanent residents.
Air passengers are required to get a viral test 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. 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.
The CDC also recommends travelers get tested again 3-5 days after arrival and stay home for 7 days post-travel, to help slow the spread of COVID-19 within US communities from travel-related infections.
“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.”