CDC Relaxes COVID-19 Travel Restrictions for International Travelers
This week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that they would be relaxing travel restrictions for select travlers. Beginning Wednesday, September 14, the CDC is no longer requiring international travelers are no longer required to be screened for COVID-19 upon entry into the United States.
According to the CDC, they have changed their COVID-19 screening protocol for international travelers because “symptom-based screening has limited effectiveness.” Since asymptomatic travelers can still spread the virus, the CDC is focusing its efforts “to more effective mitigation efforts that focus on the individual passenger.”
In recent months, passengers traveling from abroad were required to fly through select airports across the country including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York JFK, San Diego, and San Francisco. However, with this change, that will no longer be required.
Up until now, international travelers who were from or recently traveled to the following countries were required to be screened for COVID-19 upon entering the United States: Brazil, China, Europe’s Schengen Zone, Iran, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
It is important to note, when international travelers were screened for COVID-19 upon arrival in the United States, there less than 15 positive cases reported out of 675,000 international passengers that were screened.
The CDC has stated that the new COVID-19 screening protocol applies to those are residents of other countries as well as to Americans that are returning to the United States after international travel.
With the relaxation of the COVID-19 screening for international travelers, the CDC will now focus on health education for those traveling, technology enhancements to collect passengers contact information electronically, increased testing, enhanced illness response at airports and training for those who work at ports of entry into the United States.
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Source Credit: Travel and Leisure and CDC