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U.S. Looks To Expand Testing Requirements For Domestic Travel

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With mandatory testing requirements in full effect for international travel into the US, the Biden administration is now considering the testing requirements to regulate domestic travel as well. 

In an executive order on COVID-19 safety in domestic and international travel signed by President Biden last week, the document outlines the possibility to “impose additional public health measures for domestic travel.”

tourists walking down Venice beach face masks California

In a recent call with reporters, the CDC’s Director for the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Marty Cetron, responded to the possibility of new domestic travel testing requirements by stating:

“Conversations that are ongoing and looking at what the types and locations of testing might be… We’re actively looking at it. {…} We realize that there’s been a dramatic evolution and increase in both testing platforms and testing capacity. I think this is a really important part of our toolkit to combat this pandemic.”

Delta airlines pilot mask

The CDC has also reportedly disclosed to airline officials that it is actively considering requiring COVID-19 testing for domestic travel. 

US Urging Americans to Avoid Travel

In the same call with reporters, Cetron insinuated that travel plans should be avoided until the pandemic is under control and vaccination efforts are enhanced. In this regard, Cetron stated:

“Bottom-line message is this is really not a time for people to be engaging in discretionary travel, and that all travel should be postponed until we get a better handle on getting this virus under control, and accelerating our vaccination strategies.”

riding bikes with face masks in San Francisco California

The CDC further stressed to Americans that new travel requirements for international travel possess the potential to seriously disrupt trips and the ability for Americans to return home. 

The acting Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Ian Brownlee, stressed the severity of the matter on the same call, stating: 

“US citizens who choose to go abroad, whether it's for a holiday or a genuine emergency, everyone needs to be prepared to be potentially seriously disrupted in their trips. If you cannot easily access a Covid-19 test, or if you test positive, you will end up overseas for much longer than you planned. If that happens, you will be responsible for covering your own lodging and medical costs during that time.”

masked traveler with suitcase airport

US Air Travel Lowest in Six Months

With the implementation of new testing requirements, the most recent TSA checkpoint data is revealing the lowest number of screenings since July last year. 

US airline carriers are tasked with burdening the toll of dwindling travel demand amidst a problematic start to the year. 

The reality of testing requirements for domestic travel carries the potential to significantly impair the process of recovery for US airline carriers. 

While the addition of international testing requirements is considered by airline executives as an avenue to safely open international borders, the same requirements for domestic travel are strongly opposed. 

US Travel Association President Roger Dow affirmed this perspective in a recent news conference, stating:

“We are very much in favor of international testing for opening up international travel. It will be the thing that will open up international travel around the world. We’re opposed to domestic criteria for testing prior to a domestic flight.”

Dow further noted that no industry has been hit worse since the inception of the pandemic, with the American travel industry losing $500 billion last year and unemployment in the industry reaching 51% at its lowest point. 

American Airlines planes runway DFW Airport texas

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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


Friday 29th of January 2021

Also, we just have to get used to this situation; probably in 10 years time we'll have another worldwide pandemic because there are simply too many humans on this planet (that like to cram animals into cages so viruses can spread). On the bright side: our planet might heal a bit during a worldwide travel ban, yay!


Friday 29th of January 2021

Sorry, but how can a pilot disagree with all the covid restrictions? I guess he/she belongs to the lucky ones that didn't experience a covid death in the family. I'm actually not afraid of getting covid myself but I would never hop on a plane during a pandemic, with or without a facemask.

Hilariously, with every pandemic 'conspiracy theories' are created; in 1830 people thought that the 'elite' invented the cholera pandemic in order to get rid of the poor. In Europe it was even believed that the docters spread the cholera themselves to receive more dead bodies for their research. In 1918 the facemask became mandatory in the US (because of the worldwide Spanish flu pandemic), and obviously people were just (not) as happy with that as they are now during the covid pandemic in 2021 ;-). Sad that every single country in the world has citizens that believe that their 'regime' has an 'hidden agenda' during a pandemic. I guess we're not getting any smarter....


Thursday 28th of January 2021

You do realize that this is inherently political, right? @D Nobody "has to" censor anything. Our comments don't make anything more difficult. You can always not read the comments or the ones you don't like. Has nothing to do with qanon (?) nor are we trumpers. We do however want to live in a free world, not an enslaved one. People like you are part of the problem.

We can at least agree that the site owners do good work.


Friday 29th of January 2021

No, you are anti-science and part of the problem. Your comments about getting your brain stabbed in other posts show how anti-intellectual anti-science you are. Definitely a Trumper for sure. Once we all co-operate together, the faster we can actually live in a free world. If people actually followed mask laws in the US and didn't congregate, we would have more international travel options. Nobody wants to let Americans in because of this behavior. It's really not hard to understand.


Thursday 28th of January 2021

The states can and will disregard what the biden regime orders - his EOs are unconstitutional. Period. And this would be enforceable on only a limited basis anyway, and only for air travel. States, especially red states would not accept road checkpoints or whatever. They know it would eviscerate their economies. This is tyranny and people obeying everything the government tells them are part of the problem and why this plandemic will never end.

To the mods, please stop censoring.

Stephen White

Friday 29th of January 2021

Remember that EO's can be undone by a future President and can also be challenged in court. That happened several times during the previous administration. In fact, the Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton successfully sued the Biden administration over the plan to put a pause on deportations and a judge sided with Texas. I would like to see several governors challenge some of Biden's Executive Orders, because they overreach and are destructive to the economy. Furthermore, just as some localities established sanctuary cities because they objected to the Trump admin's hard line on illegal immigration, I think we should have "maskless sanctuaries" where people can refuse to abide by Biden's unconstitutional mask mandate.


Thursday 28th of January 2021

The mods have to censor comments because you come into each post with political comments regardless of what the post is. It’s making it increasingly more difficult to follow this page, despite the fantastic work the website owners do. Nobody wants to read about your QAnon political opinions when the focus of this page is designed to inform people based on facts.


Thursday 28th of January 2021

This is so discouraging. Who would have thought traveling was going to be harder in 2021 than it was in 2020... Traveling is not the cause for a surge in cases - this isn't right!