All air passengers bound for the United States will require a negative Covid-19 test within three days of their departure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Tuesday.
“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,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield.
The policy will take effect on January 26, and expands on a previous testing rule that targeted Britain and came into effect in December, following the emergence of a coronavirus variant believed to be more transmissible.
Other variants of concern have also been reported in South Africa and Brazil. On Tuesday, Japan said it was working to isolate and analyze a variant detected in four passengers who arrived from Brazil.
The CDC also recommends that travelers get tested again three to five days after their arrival, and stay home for at least seven days.
The test must be for “current infection” and passengers are required to provide written proof of its outcome to airlines before they are allowed to board.
Some epidemiologists have warned it is likely that new, more transmissible variants are already establishing themselves in the United States, where more than 379,000 people have died from Covid-19 and over 3,000 more are dying every day.
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