The CDC has issued a statement that travelers flying into the United States from other countries will need to test covid negative before boarding the flights. The new policy will come into effect from January 26.
According to the agency, the new testing requirement will help the US authorities to control the spread of coronavirus. The agency said that such measures were needed as the country is reeling under pressure due to a huge surge in the number of new coronavirus cases. Even though testing does not eliminate all the risks associated with the disease, it will work well when it is combined with other precautionary measures like using masks and maintaining social distancing in public places. Apart from that, the CDC has also suggested that using measures like quarantine and staying at home also make travel safer for everyone.
CDC Says International Passengers Need To Test Covid Negative To Enter US
According to the latest guidelines of the CDC, travelers must go for the covid test within 3 days before their flight to the US. Passengers will have to show the covid test report to the airline before boarding the flight. The agency has given strict warning to the airlines that they must deny boarding for those passengers who test positive for or who refuse to take a test.
There is a huge increase in passengers arriving in the US after travel was resumed in June. In December, close to 2 million people entered the US from different International destinations. The airlines are also trying to push for a testing program so that it will help the international Travellers to get the testing done at the airports without any hassles.
Apart from the covid negative test, some experts are also suggesting that the agency must ask the international Travellers to go on mandatory quarantine for at least 2 weeks on arrival in the US. In this manner, there will be less risk of virus transmission and covid infections.
Yet another threat of allowing International passengers is that there are new variants of coronavirus being detected in different parts of the world. The recent variant that was detected in the UK is found to be more transmissible than the original strain of coronavirus. The new variant B117 has already spread into the US, and more than 10 states across the country have reported cases of covid-19 new variants. In this regard, it is essential for the health authorities to keep a check on international passengers as they are more likely to bring new strains of coronavirus into the US.
The health officials in the US are not yet sure if the existing covid-19 vaccines can handle the new variants discovered in other parts of the world. Given this situation, it makes a lot of sense to put some restrictions on international Travellers and only allow those who test negative for covid-19.
The agency has indicated that it is natural for the virus to mutate into new variants. Even though the covid vaccine will be able to handle different variants that do not have a lot of changes from the original strain, it is not yet scientifically proven, and the authorities have to be always cautious about such new variants.
Yet another variant of coronavirus is detected in South Africa, and it is said to be drastically different from the original strain. In this situation, the authorities are worried that it can lead to a new surge in covid-19 cases in the next few months.