COVID-19 Screenings No Longer Required For International Travelers

Photo By: Ellen Jenni

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Wednesday, September 9th that international travelers will no longer be required to take COVID-19 testing upon their arrival to the U.S.

Beginning September 14, 2020, the United States Government (USG) will remove requirements for directing all flights carrying travelers from (or even traveled to) China, Iran, the Schengen region of Europe, the UK, Ireland, and Brazil which were all previously included in the mandatory enhanced health screenings required by airports.

Of the 675,000 passengers screened at the 15 airports, less than 15 were confirmed to have COVID-19.

- Reuters

International flights will no longer be routed through designated airports, as stated in the CDC announcement stating that symptom-based screening were basically ineffective being that asymptomatic passengers could continue to transmit the virus while passing the screening. However the CDC change their COVID-19 efforts more on the individual passenger.

Previously, passengers who went through an enhanced screening were required to land in Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Atlanta, New York JFK, Miami, Los Angeles, Washington-Dulles, Newark, Seattle, or San Francisco airports.

Photo By: Graham Ruttan

A spokesperson from Airlines for America made a statement to Reuters that its fellow airline members (which consist of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines), they "no longer believe that it makes sense to continue screening at these 15 airports given the extremely low number of passengers identified by the CDC as potentially having a health issue.”

By refocusing our mitigation efforts on individual passenger risk throughout the air travel journey, the USG can most effectively protect the health of the American public.

- CDC Media Statement

Of the 675,000 passengers screened at the 15 airports, less than 15 were confirmed to have COVID-19.

As enhanced screenings come to an end, the CDC will work on health education for travelers, electronic methods of collecting passenger contact information, potential testing to reduce the risk of travel-related transmission of the virus, and enhanced training at U.S. ports of entry.

The new screening rule will also apply for both foreign arrivals and American travelers returning to the U.S. from abroad.

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