LOS ANGELES – Residents planning to ignore health warnings and travel overseas will soon have to obtain a negative COVID-19 test before being allowed to return to U.S. soil, as will any foreign visitors to the country, under a new federal rule released Tuesday.
The regulation announced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires anyone traveling to the United States to have a negative COVID-19 test within three days of the flight. Passengers must provide the airline with written documentation of the test before they will be allowed to board the flight.
If a passenger fails to provide such documentation, “the airline must deny boarding to the passenger,” according to the CDC. The requirement will take effect Jan. 26.
“Testing does not eliminate all risk,” CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said. “But when combined with a period of staying at home and everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer, healthier and more responsible by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at destinations.”
The CDC also recommends that travelers be tested for the coronavirus again three to five days after arriving in the United States, and that they stay home in quarantine for seven days.
Los Angeles County has long urged residents who travel out of the area to quarantine for 10 days upon their return.