USA asks travellers to present negative COVID-19 test result before departure

USA asks travellers to present negative COVID-19 test result before departure

The CDC said travelers must get a COVID-19 test within three days before their flight to the U.S. Travelers will have to show proof of their negative test to their airline before boarding. It takes effect January 26, 2021.

In an 11pm tweet, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps wrote: 'To give global arrivals time to prepare, passengers will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before departure to England from MONDAY 18 JANUARY at 4am'.

People who had contracted the coronavirus must provide proper documentation that they have recovered from it prior to boarding, the CDC added.

COVID-19 is already widespread in the US, with more than 22.8 million cases reported.

Passengers are being asked regardless of vaccination status to be tested within 72 hours of flying to the US and present written documentation of test results or recovery from the disease.

Additionally, the CDC recommends passengers get tested again three to five days after arrival and stay home for the first week.

The new testing policy for air travelers entering the USA applies to US citizens and people from other countries alike, with exceptions for young children, active duty military on orders and selected law enforcement.

The CDC has said that change in travel requirements is "consistent with the current phase of the pandemic and more efficiently protects the health of Americans".

"Since the onset of this crisis, US airlines have relied on science to help guide decisions as they continuously re-evaluate and update their processes, procedures and protocols", the group said in a statement.

In turn, Canada had to postpone the requirement for travellers from Jamaica to adhere to the negative COVID-19 tests on arrival, instead allowing passengers to test upon arrival in Toronto. The health agency said it delayed the start date until January 26 to give airlines and travelers time to meet the requirements.

The directive is contained in an order issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and signed by Robert Redfield, its director.

Airlines will then also liable for up to £2,000 penalties per passenger if they fail to enforce the law.

Travellers will have to take an internationally approved test and guidance released by the Department for Transport said they could include PCR tests, nasal and throat swab tests which take between 12 and 24 hours to return results. She said testing is "key to unlocking worldwide borders and safely reopening global travel".

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