Travel from the UK now requires COVID-19 testing due to new SARS-CoV-2 variant
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new requirements for travel to the United States from the United Kingdom (UK). These new requirements come as a new SARS-CoV-2 variant that is thought to be more rapidly transmitted begins to gain widespread attention.
According to a new CDC order that was released on Christmas Day, travelers from the UK must provide documentation of negative COVID-19 infection status prior to traveling. The responsible party for examining the COVID-19 status of each passenger is the airlines. Specifically, airlines must:
- Verify that every passenger that is at least 2 years old has attested to having received a negative qualifying test result.
- Confirm that every passenger onboard the flight has documentation reflecting a negative infection status.
The CDC further details the various factors that airlines must consider when examining documentation of a negative testing. These factors include:
1) “The personal identifiers (e.g., name and date of birth) on the Qualifying Test result match the personal identifiers on the passenger’s passport or other travel documents”;
2) “The specimen was collected within 3 calendar days of the flight’s departure”;
3) “The test performed was a viral test”; and
4) “The test result states ‘NEGATIVE,’ ‘SARS-CoV-2 RNA NOT DETECTED,’ or ‘SARS-CoV-2 ANTIGEN NOT DETECTED.’”
The new CDC requirements exempt certain airline crew members and passengers who are only traveling through the UK with a connection of less than 24 hours and whose travel does not originate in the UK.