(CMR) International travelers to the United States will soon be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test before they board their flights.
The order from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will become effective on January 26 and will apply to all residents and visitors two years and older.
Travelers will need to get a viral test, a test for current infection, within three days of their departure and present evidence of the negative test result to their airline before departure.
People who had previously contracted the virus will need to provide a document of recovery before they are allowed to board a flight.
The CDC said if a passenger does not provide a negative test or recovery documentation or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger. CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said,
“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 by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at destinations.”
With a new COVID-19 variant identified in the UK last month, the CDC ordered that travelers from that jurisdiction provided a negative COVID-19 test before they were allowed to travel to the US.
However, the variant has since been identified in at least three US states.
The recent expansion in the travel order to include other countries comes as the US continues to see a rise in COVID-19 cases across the country.
On Wednesday, Johns Hopkins University reported over 23,000,000 cases of coronavirus in the US, with 383,939 deaths. There are over 200,000 new cases since the start of 2021.