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US will require all arriving passengers to get Covid-19 test

Washington - The effective date for the rule will start on January 26.



A traveller stands with her luggage while wearing PPE outside the arrivals area of the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. — AFP
A traveller stands with her luggage while wearing PPE outside the arrivals area of the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. — AFP

By Agencies

Published: Wed 13 Jan 2021, 6:55 AM

Last updated: Wed 13 Jan 2021, 8:00 AM

Anyone flying to the US will soon need to show proof of a negative test for Covid-19, health officials announced Tuesday.

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

International travel to the US has already been decimated by pandemic restrictions put in place last March that banned most foreigners from Europe and other areas. Travel by foreigners to the US and by Americans to international destinations in December was down 76 per cent compared to a year earlier, according to trade group Airlines for America.

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. Travellers can also provide documentation that they had the infection in the past and recovered.

Airlines are ordered to stop passengers from boarding if they don’t have proof of a negative test.

“Testing does not eliminate all risk,” CDC Director Robert R. Redfield said in a statement. “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 CDC order is “a reasonable approach” to reducing the risk of new variants from abroad entering the US, said Dr Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s school of public health.

The United States remains the worst-affected country, with around 380,000 — or a fifth — of the world’s almost two million dead, despite accounting for just four per cent of the global population.


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