Passengers arrive on a flight from London under new restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at JFK International Airport in New York on December 21, 2020.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters
The U.S. will soon require passengers to show they recently tested negative for Covid-19 before flying into the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.
The move, which aims to contain the spread of the disease, comes because new infections have set records.
Starting January 26, arriving travelers must test negative for Covid-19 within three days of their flight to the United States, according to the CDC.
“Testing doesn’t eliminate all risks, but when combined with staying at home and everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, travel can be made safer, healthier, and more responsible by reducing its spread on airplanes, airports, and travel destinations “said CDC director Robert Redfield in a press release.
The agency last month called for negative Covid tests for travelers flying out of the UK, as a contagious virus strain was found there, but has now been found in the US
International air travel remains extremely depressed due to the virus and travel restrictions that keep many foreigners from entering the US
According to Airlines for America, a trade group that represents most of the major U.S. airlines, international air arrivals were down 76% year over year in December, while arrivals from non-citizens were down 83%.
Delta Air Lines announced Tuesday that travelers booked on international flights to the United States by February 9 will forego fare differences if they want to fly before January 26, when the new requirement goes into effect. The tickets should have been bought on Tuesday or earlier.