All inbound passengers coming to the United States will soon require a compulsory negative COVID-19 test result in order to enter the country. As mentioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday, the US will soon require airline passengers to prove they recently tested negative for Covid-19 before flying to the country.
Owing to a surge in infections countrywide, starting Jan. 26, arriving travelers will have to test negative for Covid-19 within three days of their flight to the U.S., the CDC 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,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a news release.
Just last month, given the tensions surrounding the new COVID-19 variant that has been found causing a lot of concern in the UK, the country, following guidelines from the CDC started requiring negative Covid tests for travelers flying from the U.K. During the time, there was only a requirement for people flying in from the U.K. to test negative for Covid-19 no more than 72 hours before departure. The CDC said passengers would have to provide airlines with documentation of their lab results from either polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or antigen tests. Airlines, which have largely already announced such measures this week, would also have to confirm that passengers have tested negative before boarding, the agency said. They would also have to block passengers from boarding if they refuse to take a test.
This being said, the airline industry has taken a major hit since the onset of the pandemic last year and continues to see a downward slope. December international arrivals by air were down 76% from a year earlier, with noncitizen arrivals down 83%, according to Airlines for America, a trade group that represents most large U.S. airlines.
Delta Air Lines on Tuesday said it will waive any difference in fare for travelers booked on international flights to the U.S. through Feb. 9 if they want to fly before Jan. 26, when the new requirement takes effect. The tickets would have to have been purchased on Tuesday or earlier.