The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that it does not plan to require coronavirus testing before domestic flights, for now. Airline executives fiercely criticized the idea in recent weeks, arguing it would diminish already-weak demand and reduce valuable testing opportunities for medical purposes.
“At this time, CDC is not recommending required point of departure testing for domestic travel,” the CDC said Friday, according to The Wall Street Journal. “As part of our close monitoring of the pandemic, in particular the continued spread of variants, we will continue to review public health options for containing and mitigating spread of COVID-19 in the travel space.”
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The news was announced on the same day that White House Coronavirus Task Force Director Jeffrey Zients met virtually with executives for major U.S. carriers, including American Airlines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines, Reuters reports.
The CDC offered no further explanation for its latest update on the trending travel topic, simply stressing existing guidance to avoid all travel in the fight against COVID-19.
Though the executives who run major carriers, including American, Southwest, JetBlue and Delta, say they support the coronavirus testing requirement for international travelers entering the U.S., these leaders have blasted the same mandate for domestic travel as expensive and impractical.
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Anxieties spiked last week when Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg mentioned an “active conversation” with the CDC on such a mandate during a Feb. 7 interview with Axios.
A spokesperson for the CDC was not immediately available to offer further comment to Fox News.
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In early February, the public health institute mandated that all U.S. travelers ages 2 and up must wear face masks during the entire travel journey, whether they’re traveling by air, bus, boat, train or via any other location that provides transportation.
In January, the CDC announced that negative tests will be required of passengers on all international flights to the U.S. following news of more infectious strains from abroad.