CDC requires a negative COVID-19 test from all travellers entering US

*The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regulation, which comes in response to a new strain of the virus and a rising number of cases in the United States takes effect from January 26, 2021

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the second phase of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic along with a new strain of the virus rages in the advanced economy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it will require all airline passengers entering the United States (US) to test negative for the Coronavirus before travelling.

ConsumerConnect reports the fresh regulation as part of measures at managing the spread of COVID-19 takes effect from Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

The US health agency in a statement said testing before and after travel is a “critical layer” that can help slow the spread of COVID-19.

It noted that the strategy is consistent with the current phase of the pandemic and more efficiently protects the health of Americans.

COVID-19 and travel concept   Photo: Getty Images 

The rule requires all passengers to get a COVID-19 test no more than three days before their departure, and airlines will require further proof of negative test results as part of the boarding process.

The CDC, however, said that travellers who were previously infected with the virus could substitute documentation of their recovery instead of taking a test.

Other than that, the CDC says airlines will make no exceptions.

The agency cites the dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases in the last six weeks, as well as the additional variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that continue to emerge in countries around the world.

Of special concern is evidence that the variants spread between people more easily.

CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said: “Testing does not eliminate all risk…. 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.”

Once people arrive at destinations within the U.S., the CDC recommends that they get tested again within three to five days. They are also advised to quarantine for seven days.

The requirement was first floated in late November when the CDC updated its travel guidelines and suggested that travellers get tested one to three days before their flight and three to five days after travel, plus stay isolated for seven additional days.

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