ATLANTA (WCSC) - The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed a new order Tuesday that will require air passengers entering the United States to prove they do not have COVID-19.
Air passengers will be required to take a test for COVID-19 within three days before their flight to the United States and must provide their airline with written documentation of their lab test result, either a paper or electronic copy, according to a CDC news release. Otherwise, they must provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19.
Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before passengers board.
“If a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger,” a release from the CDC states.
The order, which CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield signed Tuesday, comes as variants of the coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19 continue to emerge around the world.
There is evidence that some of these variant strains are more contagious, CDC officials say.
“Testing does not eliminate all risk,” CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said. “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 says the required test, along with recommendations to get tested a second time three to five days after arrival and stay home seven days after traveling, will help slow the spread of the disease.
The requirement will take effect on Jan. 26.