The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced all travellers to the US will from January 26 require proof of a negative Covid-19 test undertaken three days prior to their departure to the US.
It’s a move that’s been welcomed by the International Air Transport Association (Iata) which has for some time been calling on governments to implement systematic pre-departure testing which they believe is key to providing confidence to reopen markets without quarantine. “Testing will ensure that at current infection levels, aviation will not become a meaningful vector of new transmissions in the US. Furthermore, Iata traveller surveys show that passengers strongly support and are willing to undergo testing,” says Douglas Lavin, Iata’s vice president, North America.
“Iata is encouraged by the flexibility shown by the CDC in this order, in terms of accepting both antigen and PCR testing and in providing passengers who have already had Covid-19 the ability to demonstrate they are immune.
“As the efficacy of testing is confirmed, we need to move quickly to next steps - lifting travel restrictions which prevent travel from Europe and other key markets and removing quarantine requirements imposed by state and local governments in the US,” says Lavin.
Iata is developing the IATA Travel Pass (ITP), a mobile app to manage information flows around requirements for Covid-19 testing and/or vaccine/immunity information. The ITP will enable travellers to receive and securely store encrypted data on their own mobile devices, including verified test or vaccination results, and to share this information with airlines and authorities. “While this order presents operational challenges, we will continue to work with CDC to achieve a smooth implementation. It definitely is a big step in the right direction,” he adds.