The Biden administration is considering expanding mandatory Covid testing to domestic travel, despite fears for the struggling airline industry.
Dr Marty Cetron, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, yesterday said the organisation was "actively" looking into the change.
On a call with reporters, Cetron, the director for the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, was asked about whether new domestic travel testing requirements could be employed.
Cetron replied that there were “conversations that are ongoing and looking at what the types and locations of testing might be…", Reuters reported.
The news comes after president Joe Biden last week instructed U.S. agencies to make recommendations to “impose additional public health measures for domestic travel”.
He asked that they consider new requirements for people crossing land borders.
At the time, administration officials said this could include a requirement for a negative Covid-19 test before flying domestically.
“We realize that there’s been a dramatic evolution and increase in both testing platforms and testing capacity.
“I think this is a really important part of our toolkit to combat this pandemic,” Cetron said.
STRICT NEW RULES FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
New CDC rules came into effect on Tuesday, requiring nearly all international air travellers aged 2 and older to present a negative coronavirus test taken within three calendar days of travel – or proof of recovery from Covid-19 – to enter the US.
The CDC has also said it was considering implementing a domestic testing requirement.
Some airline officials worried such requirements might diminish already weak demand for air travel.
The CDC had also taken a firm stance on travellers from some countries with limited testing capacity, announcing waivers would not be granted.
Numerous U.S. airlines had already sought waivers.
Acting Assistant Secretary of State Ian Brownlee told reporters that CDC was not issuing federal quarantine orders “at this time”.
However, self-quarantining was recommended for seven days after returning from a trip and carrying out a post-arrival Covid test.
The main message to U.S. citizens considering travel abroad remained the same, Brownlee said.
“Seriously reconsider going overseas right now.”
“If you’re overseas right now, it’s going to be harder to come home for a while.”
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