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Mandatory COVID-19 Testing Could Come to U.S. Domestic Flights

Flyers at airport wearing face masks

As a means to stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus, the White House may be considering creating an additional mandate on flyers prior to travel. In addition to requiring passengers to wear face coverings on all aircraft, the next regulation could be mandatory COVID-19 testing prior to departure.

Could the next executive order require flyers to take a COVID-19 test before flying within the United States? Reuters reports the White House is considering adding a testing mandate to further stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus.

“Conversations Are Ongoing” About Mandatory Testing for Domestic Travel

After president Joe Biden followed through on a campaign promise to make a face covering rule on all public carriers – including airlines, buses and trains – the next step could be making pre-travel COVID-19 a requirement for all domestic flights. In comments to the media, leaders from the Centers for Disease Control said that “conversations are ongoing” to determine if the infrastructure is available.

To date, COVID-19 tests have been limited to certain states and countries, and have been implemented with the support of airlines. The State of Hawaii was one of the first destinations to require every arriving traveler to take a test prior to travel, while nations like Aruba and Belize worked with JetBlue and American to open flights from the U.S.

Although airlines previously supported a testing plan to end border closures, it’s unclear if the carriers will embrace this plan as willingly. To streamline options, United Airlines introduced the Travel Ready Center as part of their digital experience to find testing locations. Meanwhile, both American and JetBlue worked with health partners to offer at-home test kits to passengers.

International Travel Remains Most Impacted by Administration Changes

While a final decision is yet to be made, federal officials are still warning flyers to carefully consider international trips in the immediate future. While the executive order will not include quarantine for those entering the United States, they are asking travelers to not go abroad.

“[The] main message to U.S. citizens considering travel abroad remains the same: Seriously reconsider going overseas right now,” acting assistant secretary of state Ian Brownlee told Reuters. “If you’re overseas right now, it’s going to be harder to come home for a while.”

19 Comments
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bozacksmith February 2, 2021

You just now get Covid but somehow are blaming the airlines how exactly lol? As someone else said, airports and planes have never been cleaner, much more so than any box store or gas pump. Last I checked we are all adults and choose what we do and not to do so can't blame any airline when they don't force people to fly and also you have no idea where you contracted it from in today's non perfect world.

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DMIND00 February 2, 2021

After all I twas the passengers traveling on airlines that brought this virus to the USA. While I do not like it. It has cost millions of USA citizens their jobs and income, let alone others across the globe. I have COVID19 now and I blame the airlines. I have been extremely careful yet I got it. It has cost the airlines 10's of billions of dollars and will continue to do so. had they done their job and curtailed flights early on we would not be where we are today. This is the consequence. Let alone what measures will take place for the next strange contagious virus to hit the world. It is really I know because I have it and hope I do not develop worse medical complications. All lives mater, be smart and safe.

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BMGRAHAM February 2, 2021

Air travel has already proven itself to be safe. This is completely unnecessary, especially now, with the vaccines rollout, we are entering the closing months of the pandemic. Thankfully this President was not in charge during most of the pandemic. Nobody should be surprised either, if they had read what he was saying during his campaign.

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nrr February 1, 2021

Why not also daily test subway and local bus riders at each end of their daily commute???

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Fornebufox February 1, 2021

This makes sense PROVIDED a convenient testing option is available. Rapid tests at the airport, at a nominal cost--why not? I know, I know, it's a pipe dream in the US.