The Wall Street Journal notes that the United States is expected to require all international airline travelers to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding an international flight to the USA starting later this month.
USA Will Require COVID-19 Tests For All International Travelers
The order will come from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and may be issued as early as today. The measure has been under discussion for several weeks and is expected to go into effect on January 26, 2021.
Testing will be required for all travelers, including U.S. citizens returning home.
Airline reaction is mixed, though mostly positive. The procurement of COVID-19 tests is becoming easier, though still by no means easy. That may present a bottleneck for some returning passengers, especially as unpredictable processing times make every test within 72 hours of travel a close call.
On the other hand, airlines are thrilled at the prospect that testing and eventually vaccinations may take the place of travel restrictions that shut off most of the world to international travelers, particularly from the Untied States.
Nick Calio, CEO of Airlines for America, the collective lobbying arm of U.S. carriers, noted:
“We believe a well-planned program focused on increasing testing of travelers to the United States will further these objectives in a much more effective way than the blanket travel restrictions currently in place.”
On December 24, 2o20, the U.S. began requiring a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) for incoming travelers from the United Kingdom. That program has been deemed effective and will now spread to other nations.
While “too little, too late” certainly comes to mind, this extra layer of protection cannot hurt the cause of stemming the spread of COVID-19 in the USA. Expect an official order later today or tomorrow with details and any potential exclusions or exceptions. Hopefully it will also lead to the lifting of the travel ban for Europeans and Chinese.
I am off to Turks and Caicos later this month and the hotel already responded that they will have a nurse on staff to test guests 48 hours prior to their return to the U.S.. $250.00 per test, lol.
which hotel? im going to como at the end of the month
Como Parrot Cay.
But if you test positive, or false positive you’ll be spending 14 days there on your own dime
Stuart, how many of those $250 tests are you on the hook for?
Two. Add in the required boat transfer r/t at $700.oo for two and this is adding up quickly. I’m seriously considering canceling. Suddenly $1300.00 is added to my bill before I even check-in.
Oh, plus the required secondary Covid Insurance needed to enter Turks and Caicos. Another few hundred for two.
Normally I’d say this is all just COVID theatre, but in your case I think it’s important to have these restrictions to ensure you’re not spreading the new Austrian strain into the Caribbean after your strange, erotic journey through the streets of Vienna.
That made me smile, Mitch, thanks, lol.
I just canceled. I’ll rebook later once things get figured out. I was due to come back on the 29th, so if the 26th is the date this is instituted I am worried CBP in Miami will be chaotic trying to process all of this given how fresh the steps will still be. Like the mass return to the U.S. this spring, these things come with increased dangers just from sheer chaos.
In all seriousness, the chaos is likely to occur on the 24-25th, not on the 29th. By way of personal example, KLM added a crazy requirement with almost no notice that all passengers traveling to or through AMS (including transit passengers) would need a 72 hour old PCR test beginning on Dec. 29. We were flying from Sweden to the US on Dec. 28, and AMS was an absolute madhouse. More people than I’ve ever seen before, with huge lines to enter and exit Schengen, etc. But reports on Flyertalk from the following days were that the airport became a ghost town. Everyone had moved up their flights to get home before the new rule kicked in. Our connecting flight AMS-IAD only had 20 people on it, so I guess it was all Europeans trying to get home from their Christmas holidays.
That said, I’m not doing any more int’l travel until things settle down.
Probably, it’s just the combined aspect of all these things. More hoops to jump through, more money, and the potential that I can’t avoid being stealth when traveling during that time. Seems like waiting a few weeks or so and rebooking might be better. Though I probably gave up an empty resort with an entire beach for 10 people…that part pisses me off a bit, lol
I asked Como what Feb and March looks like for rebooking. They said…”Just tell us when you are ready – there are no issues for the entire winter getting a room.” When did you last hear a Caribbean resort say that about winter dates?
Last trip to Europe was two weeks ago. I didn’t plan any more trips due to Brexit, and now I’m quite thankful. This confirms I won’t take any international trips this year, for as long as this requirement sticks around. I’m not a fan of playing the PCR 72 hour lottery.
My questions is, if I do a 2 day trip to Cancun, get the PCR the day before I leave, can I use the same test to come back?
Stuart brings up a good point that there are a lot of folks that stand to make a lot of money from this situation. I’m glad that the vaccination provides an alternative.
Totally agree except anyone who thinks a pre- and/or post-sojourn vaccination requirement is onerous and/or going to be handled clumsily by the US is in for a real surprise if they expect some sort of worldwide health passport to materialize remotely soon and allow for near-immediate free travel just by showing some not-at-all-official-looking business-card-sized document with handwritten “proof” of vaccination showing the lot # of your vaccine. I think we’ll be testing for a while.
There’s a guy in the Terminal A garage at Reagan airport selling vaccine passports. He said you’ll be exempt from all the testing requirements if you buy it.
Of course at Terminal A. That garage is home to every scam imaginable.
I’d be glad to never letting the chinese back in
I think the bigger problem is letting the infection out of the US, you racist twat.
While better than nothing it is really a lipstick on a pig effort. Regarding your comment “Too little, too late”, where would people be able to get tested when the pandemic started? Dl you think tests are now available in every country? Not really. Also, if they chose that you have to get tested 72 hours before a flight, how do you manage what that person did within those 72 hours? You can go get tested, then party with no mask for 72 hours, get a negative test and fly. Sorry, but there is no real solution unless there is a vaccine that takes care of this and still it won’t be 100%. We better get used to this virus, find ways to avoid it and get back to life. The virus won’t be eliminated, people will still die and if we keep lockdowns, borders closed, schools closed as a solution we will live like this for many years.
I’m rather legally ignorant but is there any legal issue with barring US citizens from returning home without additional legislation or executive order?
Too little, too LATE. The kid’s already drowned, so goo ahead and dirt up the pool!
It strikes me as unconstitutional to require a test for U.S. citizens to fly home. Sweden’s UK test requirement doesn’t apply to Swedish citizens, because Swedes have a right to return to their own country. This is also useless. Somebody spends a week in Cancun, gets their test, and then goes crazy at bars and clubs for two nights before their flight home. Really?
This will punish ordinary travelers — cutting them off from the world — just so rich people can fly business class back and forth to Europe again.
As a dual citizen, I like Europe better without rich Americans. But, in all seriousness, this is nothing but theater.
Another weapon in the arsenal I suppose. The US is really going to have to think about how to practically implement vaccination passports soon. We may be terribly slow to inoculate our population but other countries are doing better. Why not allow people in that aren’t going to worsen our problems?
Yes sheep go for your inoculations. Testing is incredibly inaccurate with false positives and negatives. If you got a flu shot you will test positive. The MSN is not reporting all the deaths and severe reactions some are having to the vaccine. Any critically thinking person would realize the cure is far worse than the disease. And big pharma has 100% immunity if they kill or harm you.
Any airline, hotel or destination that has these requirements will never get my money. I don’t have to do or go anywhere!
Perfect. You are the type that’s better to stay home, isolated, and not amidst society. Forever.