However, confirming that some can still travel, the CDC says those planning to fly internationally should consider being tested one to three days before their flights and again three to five days after the trip. In addition to testing, after completing their travels, the CDC said people should stay home for seven days – even if their test is negative.
However, the agency did not consider whether testing is recommended for those flying inland.
While the CDC previously encouraged people planning to fly to take steps to protect themselves and others, including washing their hands frequently, wearing masks, and practicing social distancing, this is the first time the CDC has encouraged them to get tested. .
“Pre- and post-travel testing may reduce the risk of spreading COVID-1
“Testing does not eliminate all risks, but when combined with a period of stay at home and daily precautions such as wearing masks and social distance, it can make travel safer by reducing the spread to planes, airports and destinations,” it said. in the recommendation. .
The use of pre-flight tests is increasing. Currently, more than 100 countries require proof of a negative coronavirus entry test.
The International Civil Aviation Organization, the UN body that controls aviation, issued new recommendations earlier this month that recognized the potential of prepress programs.
In the United States, a growing number of states, including Hawaii, Alaska and Connecticut, allow passengers to skip quarantine requirements with evidence of a negative test. As a result, more airlines and airports now offer passengers the opportunity to take a test before boarding a flight. However, there is no common standard, so it is left to airlines and airports to develop their own testing programs and passengers to arrange the requirements for their specific destination.
Even for those taking precautions, the CDC warns that air travel during the current pandemic poses a risk.
“Air travel requires spending time in security lines and airport terminals, which can bring you into close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces,” the agency said. “Social distancing is difficult in busy airports and crowded flights, and sitting 6 feet away from others, sometimes for hours, can increase the risk of getting COVID-19. The way you get to and from the airport, such as by public transport and carpooling, can also increase your chances of being exposed to the virus. “
While surveys show that fewer people plan to travel during Thanksgiving, many are still on the move. The transport security administration said more than a million people passed through airport security checkpoints on Friday. This is only the second time since the beginning of the pandemic that the number is over 1 million.
Erin Sauber-Shatz, head of the CDC Task Force and Critical Task Force, told a briefing Thursday: “The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is at home with the people in your household.”