US to require negative COVID-19 test for all air travellers

All air travellers to the United States will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test before entry.

Travellers wait for their luggage in a terminal at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Wednesday, December. 23, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Yffy Yossifor/Star-Telegram via AP)

The measure, intended to help slow the spread of the virus, was announced by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a statement yesterday.

Air passengers will be required to get a negative test three days before their flight to the US departs, and provide documentation of their lab results, or documentation that they have recovered from COVID-19.

The order becomes effective January 26, 2021.

The statement says, “Variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to emerge in countries around the world, and there is evidence of increased transmissibility of some of these variants.  With the US already in surge status, the testing requirement for air passengers will help slow the spread of the virus as we work to vaccinate the American public.”

Airlines will be required to 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.

The measure came on the same day the US hit a new high for coronavirus deaths, recording 4,327 fatalities yesterday.