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COVID-19: USA announces testing requirement for all international travellers before arrival

COVID-19: USA announces testing requirement for all international travellers before arrival

While few would want to visit the country that has mishandled the pandemic better than any other first-world nation (mind you the UK comes a close second), be warned that the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) has announced the expansion of its travel testing regime to include all travellers entering the USA from January 26, 2021.

All travellers will be required to be COVID-19 tested with 72 hours of departure, and that the test be negative. Airlines will be required to check such documentation before passengers board flights. Failure to test wil result in boarding being denied.

‘Before departure to the United States, a required test, combined with the CDC recommendations to get tested again 3-5 days after arrival and stay home for 7 days post-travel, will help slow the spread of COVID-19 within US communities from travel-related infections. Pre-departure testing with results known and acted upon before travel begins will help identify infected travelers before they board airplanes.

Air passengers are required to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within the 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before they 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.’CDC Expands Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement to All Air Passengers Entering the United States, Media Statement, Robert R. Redfield, MD, CDC Director, January 12, 2021

Canada and England have introduced a similar restriction recently, although they also require mandatory self-quarantine for most travellers – depending on the country of departure.

The USA already requires travellers from the UK to be tested, due to the new more infectious strain of COVID-19.

a plane parked on a tarmac

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

The mismanagement of the pandemic, and the total lack of a national prevention plan has been the hallmark of the Trump regime’s incompetence at fulfilling the most basic responsibilities of a democratic government.

You may think – what’s the point of this testing regime when visiting the USA probably is the greater risk? Well, it has probably been provoked by the wish to limit the introduction of new strains, and maybe to discourage unnecessary travel to the USA by both foreigners and citizens.

The new testing requirement does not mandate either self-isolation or quarantine on arrival, which as in Australia would add another layer of protection for the citizens of the USA. Mind you, with so much community transmission already, would it be effective?

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