International Travelers Will Soon Need a Negative COVID-19 Test Before Entering the U.S.

All international flight passengers will soon need a negative COVID-19 test before coming to the U.S. in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. The new rule will go into effect on January 26, 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Air passengers are required to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within the three 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,” the CDC said in a press release. If you’ve recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection, the CDC says you’ll need documentation of a positive coronavirus test result within the past three months and a letter from a public health official or your health care provider saying that you’re cleared for international travel.

From there, airlines are required to confirm that the passengers have the correct documentation of either a negative COVID-19 test or recovery from a COVID-19 infection. If a passenger doesn’t provide that or chooses not to take a test, “the airline must deny boarding to the passenger,” the CDC says.

Measures like these are important now that we’re dealing with the emergence of new COVID-19 variants, including some with mutations that affect the virus’s spike protein (which is the part of the virus that binds to human cells, so mutations here could make it easier for the virus to infect us). And with the U.S. already in the midst of yet another coronavirus surge, “the testing requirement for air passengers will help slow the spread of the virus as we work to vaccinate the American public,” the CDC says. It is worth noting, however, there are are already confirmed cases of people with the U.K. variant, including at least one person who does not have a history of travel. That means that those variants are likely already in the U.S. and spreading within the community.

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It is important to remember that we can’t rely on testing alone to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For one thing, even the best tests are imperfect and can miss some cases, especially early on in the infection. That’s why it’s crucial to continue social distancing, washing your hands frequently, avoiding crowds, and wearing a mask (even if you’ve received a COVID-19 vaccine). When used together, all of these strategies can help keep travelers—and those around them—safe.

Related:

https://www.self.com/story/international-travel-negative-covid-19-test, GO TO SAUBIO DIGITAL FOR MORE ANSWERS AND INFORMATION ON ANY TOPIC

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