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World Tourism Network: New COVID-19 rules for US airlines not enough

World Tourism Network (WTM) launched by rebuilding.travel

Arriving in the United States of America from a foreign country now means a mandatory COVID-19 test within 3 days prior to boarding a US bound flight. This new CDC rule is not enough according to the World Tourism Network.

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To reduce the introduction and spread of new variants of SARS-CoV-2, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Order (PDF)  effective January 26, 2021.

It requires all air passengers arriving in the United States of America from a foreign country to get tested for COVID-19 infection no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight.

For more information on this testing requirement, see Frequently Asked Questions.

The State of Hawaii was the first state that mandated such a regulation also for domestic flights from the US mainland. The Aloha State has been successful in keeping the spread of COVID-19 under control.

The Hawaii-based World Tourism Network founder, Juergen Steinmetz, says: “We’re pleased the US Government is taking this important step, but it may not be enough.

“The travel and tourism industry is in a dire situation. Health in this country is in a downward spiral with close to 400,000 Americans dead from the coronavirus. The Trump administration has allowed arrivals without a COVID-19 test for so long. This is incomprehensible to me.

“I am also puzzled why the same regulation is not in place for domestic flights. Rapid tests are inexpensive and widely available. Such tests can be conducted minutes before a flight.

“We need to help the travel industry gain confidence for their customers. Allowing flights to take off in the United States with passengers on board that were not tested is sending the wrong message and is simply dangerous.”

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