The United States has ruled out a plan to implement Covid-19 testing for domestic flights. The Biden administration announced Friday that the Center For Disease Control (CDC) does not recommend the testing and science doesn’t support the measure. The announcement will come as welcome news to the millions of Americans that are expected to travel within the country over spring break.
“President Biden has taken a number of steps to make travel safer since coming into office, including requiring masking on all air travel and public transit, pre-departure testing for inbound international travel and self-quarantine and testing after international travel,” White House spokesman Kevin Munoz said in a statement, reported Bloomberg. “At this time, CDC is not recommending required point of departure testing for domestic travel. As always, we will follow the science to bring this pandemic to an end.”
Airlines Pushed Back Against Domestic Testing
Earlier this week airlines voiced their frustration after it was announced by CDC director Rochelle Walensky and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg that there were ongoing discussions about implementing pre-flight testing within the U.S.
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly asked on a quarterly call Thursday, “Why pick on air travel?
“If you want to test people, test them, but test them before they go to the grocery store. Test them before they go to a restaurant,” Kelly said. “Test them before they go to a sporting event.”
While many believed domestic testing could help detect cases of Covid-19 and prevent further spreading, the rule was met with concern by The US Travel Association. It called the idea impractical, and expressed fears that it could divert public health resources away form areas where they may be better served.
U.S. Requires Incoming Passenger Testing
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced the implementation of COVID-19 testing requirements for all international arrivals by air to the U.S.
The new testing requirements are mandatory upon all travelers, over the age of two, arriving to the US on international flights, including US citizens and residents.
This also applies to travelers on private jets and chartered flights.
Cases of Covid-19 Falling In The U.S.
U.S. cases of Covid-19 and hospitalization rates have fallen significantly over the last month and the vaccination rollouts continue to speed up.
While the United States is showing signs of progress in dealing with Covid-19, more contagious variants of the disease threaten to further draw out the pandemic. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the B117 variant found originally in the United Kingdom could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by the end of March.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories