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CDC Won’t Move Forward with Domestic COVID-19 Testing Mandate

CDC Won’t Move Forward with Domestic COVID-19 Testing Mandate
Joe Cortez

After getting pushback from the major American carriers, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control will not require all domestic passengers to get a COVID-19 test prior to flying. However, the face mask mandate will remain, as well as recommendations that travelers stay home unless they have an essential need to travel.

Flyers holding tickets for domestic itineraries will not be required to get a COVID-19 test prior to travel, after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stepped away from adding it to their list of travel rules. In a statement to FlyerTalk, the agency confirmed they would not require a pre-flight negative test to board an aircraft.

CDC Will Not Recommend “Required Point of Testing” Prior to Departure

“At this time, CDC is not recommending required point of departure testing for domestic travel. As part of our close monitoring of the pandemic, in particular the continued spread of variants, we will continue to review public health options for containing and mitigating spread of COVID-19 in the travel space.”
–Statement from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Rumors of a new testing requirement began shortly after the CDC introduced new rules for riding public transportation. At the time, the agency was said to be exploring additional requirements to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus.

The proposal was immediately met by criticism from U.S.-based air carriers. Leaders from American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines all publicly stated their opposition to pre-flight COVID-19 testing for all passengers, calling it everything from “counterproductive” to “a horrible idea.”

Also expressing their opposition was industry consortium Airlines for America. In a joint letter from the trade organization joined by 20 different unions and travel groups, they called a mandatory testing plan “unwarranted,” and claimed it would “disproportionally prevent low-income travelers and rural Americans” from flying until the pandemic is declared over.

The step back from a testing requirement is a victory for the air carriers, who claim their early adoption of face mask rules was one of the key steps to maintaining a safe flying environment. The companies also point to research by the U.S. Department of Defense, the Harvard School of Public Health and a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association as evidence that flying is as safe – if not safer – than other daily routine activities.

Organization Recommends Against Unnecessary Travel Until Pandemic is Over

Although the CDC won’t create a testing mandate, the agency is still recommending travelers hold off on all travel until the pandemic is over. If essential travel is required, the CDC is asking flyers to consider taking a test up to three days before departure to ensure the safety of other passengers and those they are visiting.

“[The] CDC recommends that people stay home and only travel for essential reasons. If someone must travel, getting a viral test 1-3 days before the trip can help them do so more safely,” the CDC statement reads. “After travel, getting tested with a viral test 3-5 days post-travel and staying home and self-quarantining for 7 days, even if test results are negative, is a recommended public health measure to reduce risk.”

View Comments (5)

5 Comments

  1. schelsr

    February 17, 2021 at 5:58 am

    Wow. What insight. The CDC disqualified itself as credible a year ago, demonstrating that they were political hacks.

  2. Aloha1

    February 17, 2021 at 9:21 am

    So after Buttigeig makes his statement about mandatory testing, the WH starts walking it back in the face of uproar. Maybe that will work with the XL pipeline!

  3. Hawkeyefan

    February 17, 2021 at 9:24 am

    schelsr I agree. Yeah…lets stay shut down for nearly the rest of 2021 and see where that gets us. BTW, I’ll be ‘unnecessarily’ traveling to a sunny locale next week.

  4. PaulMSN

    February 17, 2021 at 5:18 pm

    No, schelsr, they revealed themselves to be scientists rather than Trump supporters. CDC has its issues, but I’ll take their conclusions over any partisan believer in nonsense.

  5. gum

    February 18, 2021 at 10:07 pm

    In this case the CDC is correct. To shed light on this: The c vir_s is already patented since many years:

    https://register.epo.org/application?number=EP15750093

    Therefore there is a high probability that ranging back 2014 or 2007 there are many mutants (builds) underway.

    So noone know exactly if the PCR test the China virus of the season or also an older one.

    Therefore it is completely understandable that the CDC after a questionable history votes for freedom.

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