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Published on Thursday, January 14, 2021

US mandates Covid testing for inbound travelers

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week approved a proposal to require all international air travelers to obtain a negative Covid-19 test before flying to the US.

The order becomes effective from 26 January 2021.

"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.

Passengers must present negative test results taken within three days of departure.

Any traveler unable to provide documentation will be denied boading.

"Testing does not eliminate all risk 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," said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield.

The new directive applies to returning US citizens as well as foreign travelers.

The order expands on a similar rule imposed on travelers coming from the UK, where a more contagious strain of Covid was discovered.

The new strain appears to spread more easily but there is no data to say it is any more deadly.

At least 70 cases of the new strain have been identified in the US.


 Written by Ray Montgomery

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