CDC: Negative COVID-19 test will be required for all passengers on flights entering the US

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FILE – In this Nov. 25, 2020, file photo, travelers wait to check-in for their flights ahead of Thanksgiving at LaGuardia Airport, in the Queens borough of New York. With some Americans now paying the price for what they did over Thanksgiving, health officials are warning people — begging them, even — not to make the same mistake during the Christmas and New Year’s season. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding rules requiring air travelers to test negative for COVID-19 before entering the U.S. to include all international passengers starting January 26.

As new variants continue to emerge in countries around the world, the CDC says testing before and after air travel is a, “critical layer to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19.”

International passengers will be required to get a viral COVID-19 test within three days of their flight and provide evidence of their negative result to the airline before boarding their flight to the U.S. Anyone who does not have evidence of a negative test will not be allowed to board the plane.

This order was signed by the CDC Director Robert R. Redfield Tuesday and will become effective on January 26.

“Testing does not eliminate all risk,” Redfield said in a statement. “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.”

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