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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that all air passengers entering the United States will need to pass a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight. The new rule takes effect on January 26.
The coronavirus continues to ravage the country, surpassing previously unthinkable stages day after day. Hundreds of thousands of new cases are reported daily, and the death toll is expected to exceed 400,000 in a few weeks. “Because the United States is already in a state of emergency, the requirement to test air passengers will help slow the spread of the virus as we work to vaccinate the American public,” the CDC said.
The CDC will require all passengers to receive a test within three days of departure. Written documentation of negative test results must be provided to the airline before boarding. Previously infected passengers may provide documentation of their recovery instead of a negative test result. Airlines will not allow passengers to board if they fail to comply.
In addition, the CDC recommends that passengers be tested again three to five days after arrival and stay home for the first week. “Testing does not eliminate all risks,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield. “But combined with a period of stay at home and daily precautions, such as wearing masks and social distancing, this can make travel safer, healthier and more responsible by reducing the spread to planes, airports and destinations. . “