KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Anyone flying to the U.S. will soon need to show proof of a negative test for COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday that all international travelers, including U.S. citizens traveling from abroad, must test negative for COVID-19 before boarding a flight heading to America.
The new requirement will begin Jan. 26.
Some travelers at Kansas City International Airport said they believe the new guidelines are needed.
“I do believe it’s a good thing because you never know on your way back,” George Ambler said. “They should have you be tested and stuff before you get back on the plane. You don’t know where people are coming from.”
Documentation of a negative COVID-19 test will be required within three days before travel to the U.S.
Travelers must provide test results to the airline, and the airlines must confirm negative test results before boarding flight.
The CDC’s order is aimed at preventing further spread of the coronavirus, and it comes as international travel begins to pick up again during a surge of COVID-19 across the U.S.
Brent Blake, president of Acendas Travel, said he’s working with airlines, vacation vendors and other members of the travel industry to seek clarification on new guidelines and what this could mean for future travelers.
“Our spring break was actually looking pretty strong and now with the recent announcement from CDC, getting lots of phone calls today,” Blake said. “How would I get the testing if I was (at) the destination? What happens if I have a positive test? That’s the number one challenging question we are hearing. If I still go, I get the test, but if I get the test, what’s plan B?”
Blake said he recommends getting a travel insurance policy before to help with any unexpected change of plans and travel fees, etc.
He said hotel associations in Cancun are already setting up testing stations for American travelers.
“It’s going to be a different experience,” Blake said. “If you feel safe enough that you want to go, let’s make sure you are taken care of for all contingencies. Want to make sure you have a place to take the test, make sure things are taken care of if things go positive, and most importantly, you will have someone to talk to and address if things have to change.”
The CDC said testing before and after travel is a critical layer to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19. This strategy is consistent with the current phase of the pandemic and more efficiently protects the health of Americans.
Millions of people traveled by plane over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, but health experts are still urging people to stay home amid rising cases.