By CBS 17 Digital Desk | January 12, 2021 at 5:24 PM EST – Updated January 12 at 5:24 PM
(WNCN) — Proof of a negative COVID-19 test is now required to enter the United States from abroad, according to new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC expanded the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to all air passengers entering the United States on Tuesday. The new requirement will go into effect on Jan. 26.
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.
“Testing before and after travel is a critical layer to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19. This strategy is consistent with the current phase of the pandemic and more efficiently protects the health of Americans,” the CDC said in a news release.
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.
“Testing does not eliminate all risk,” says CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD, “but when combined with a period of staying at home and everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer, healthier, and more responsible by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at destinations.”
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