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US Considers Covid-19 Testing Requirement for Domestic Air Travel

The Biden administration is considering a rule that would require negative Covid-19 test results for domestic air travel, according to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Buttigieg mentioned the possible testing requirement for air travelers within the United States in an interview Sunday with “Axios on HBO.”

“There’s an active conversation with the CDC right now,” Buttigieg told Axios. “What I can tell you is, it’s going to be guided by data, by science, by medicine, and by the input of the people who are actually going to have to carry this out.”

On Monday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that screening US travelers for Covid-19 could be helpful. But she did not expand upon whether there are plans to test domestic travelers.

“To the extent that we have available tests to be able to do testing, first and foremost, I would really encourage people to not travel,” Walensky said during a White House briefing. “But if we are traveling, this would be yet another mitigation measure to try and decrease the spread.”

Domestic vs. international testing

The discussion follows a CDC rule that went into effect at the end of January requiring negative Covid-19 tests for international travelers, US citizens and residents entering the United States.

The US Travel Association, a national nonprofit industry body, hailed that rule for inbound travelers as “key to reopening international travel.”

However, the group does not support a testing requirement for domestic air travelers.

The group called mandatory testing for domestic travelers “impractical,” noting that there aren’t defined ports of entry and that such a measure could “divert scarce public health resources away from other priorities.” Read Full Article >

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