Los Angeles Times

Re­quire­ment for fly­ing into U.S.

- Travel · United States of America · Travelers Cos · Philadelphia Union · United Kingdom · Department of Homeland Security · Homeland · Air Transport Association · Mike Pence · Pence · U.S. Centers for Disease Control · Redfield, New York

Trav­el­ers will have to show proof of a neg­a­tive COVID test in the last three days.

The U. S. will re­quire proof of a neg­a­tive COVID- 19 test be­fore al­low­ing peo­ple to f ly into the coun­try from other na­tions in an ef­fort to help air­lines re­gain at least some of their most lu­cra­tive in­ter­na­tional travel — a rule that air­lines had lob­bied for.

The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion said Tues­day that it ap­proved the mea­sure, which will take ef­fect Jan. 26 and ap­ply to cit­i­zens and nonci­t­i­zens.

It re­quires trav­el­ers to be tested within three days be­fore leav­ing for the U. S. and to pro­vide writ­ten proof of a neg­a­tive re­sult. Air­lines must con­firm the in­for­ma­tion be­fore al­low­ing pas­sen­gers to board, the CDC said.

“Test­ing does not elim­i­nate all risk,” CDC Direc­tor Robert 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 rules build on a fed­eral man­date that be­gan Dec. 28 re­quir­ing neg­a­tive tests for pas­sen­gers f ly­ing to the U. S. from Bri­tain after the dis­cov­ery of a new vari­ant of the virus that spreads more rapidly. Com­pre­hen­sive test­ing would po­ten­tially help re­vive de­mand for trips be­tween the U. S. and other na­tions, which have been stalled at less than a quar­ter of 2019 lev­els be­cause of virus fears and gov­ern­ment travel re­stric­tions.

The new stan­dard would ap­par­ently re­place a broader ban on en­try for most non- U. S. cit­i­zens trav­el­ing from 28 Euro­pean na­tions that was im­posed by the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity after a pres­i­den­tial procla­ma­tion March 11. The de­part­ment di­rected ques­tions on the mat­ter to the CDC.

The trade group rep­re­sent­ing large U. S. car­ri­ers, Air­lines for Amer­ica, wrote to Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence on Jan. 4 to sup­port such a test­ing re­quire­ment, say­ing it would pro­mote es­sen­tial eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity while also pro­tect­ing peo­ple’s safety.

“We be­lieve a wellplanne­d pro­gram fo­cused on in­creas­ing test­ing of trav­el­ers to the United States will fur­ther these ob­jec­tives in a much more ef­fec­tive way than the blan­ket travel re­stric­tions cur­rently in place,” the group said.

Some of the most lu­cra­tive air­line routes to Europe have been among the most se­verely hit by the pan­demic. Pas­sen­gers aboard U. S. car­ri­ers on transat­lantic f lights fell more than 85% in the last week com­pared with the same pe­riod last year, ac­cord­ing to Air­lines for Amer­ica data.

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