Infectious Disease

All passengers getting into the US should have a damaging COVID-19 take a look at, in keeping with the CDC

January 13, 2021

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Starting January 26, all passengers entering the United States must have a negative COVID-19 test, according to the CDC.

The announcement came amid the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variant strains in several countries, including the United Kingdom.

plane

The CDC said all passengers entering the United States must have a negative COVID-19 test.
Image Credit: Shutterstock

“Testing doesn’t eliminate all risks, but when combined with staying at home and taking everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, travel can be made safer, healthier and more responsible by reducing its spread on airplanes, airports and travel destinations. “Outgoing CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD, said in a press release.

Robert R. Redfield

Since December 28, the CDC has required UK passengers to submit a negative test result at least three days prior to departure. The new policy requires all passengers to have a negative test result within 3 days of departure for the US and to be tested and quarantined for 7 days 3 to 5 days after arrival in the country.

The airline must be provided with paper or electronic documentation of the laboratory test and the airlines must confirm the negative results for all passengers prior to boarding. If no documentation is provided or a person refuses to be tested, the airline must refuse entry to the passenger.

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Monica Gandhi, MD, MPH)

Monica Gandhi, MD, MPH

The new CDC test guideline, according to which passengers from other countries must perform a negative test before entering the USA, makes sense in some ways and makes no sense in other cases. This makes sense because variants occur in other countries (such as the B.1.1.7 “UK variant”) and we want to restrict the entry of new variants into our country. However, this makes no sense as the US remains the epicenter of the pandemic so it is unlikely that a traveler could actually make our situation worse. Ultimately, airlines should probably view vaccination against COVID-19 as an adequate “passport” to fly without testing and require testing for those who are not vaccinated until we get to mass vaccination. At the moment I think this policy is fine and – although this may not have a material impact on our pandemic in the US – makes biological sense.

Monica Gandhi, MD, MPH

Professor of Medicine

Associate Chief, Department of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine

University of California, San Francisco

Disclosure: Gandhi does not report any relevant financial information.

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