Major US airlines back 'global' COVID-19 testing requirements
Published: Jan 05, 2021 06:08 PM
A group representing major US airlines on Monday backed a proposal by public health officials to implement a global testing program requiring negative tests before most international air passengers return to the US, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

People are tested for the novel coronavirus in Ontario, California, US on December 30, 2020. Photo: VCG

Airlines for America, which represents American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and other major carriers, also urged the Trump administration in a letter to Vice President Mike Pence "to move ahead with recommendations to rescind current entry restrictions on travelers from Europe, the UK and Brazil as soon as possible... concurrently with the testing program."

In November 2020, Reuters reported that the White House was considering rescinding restrictions that ban most non-US citizens from traveling to the US from the 26 members of the Schengen area that allow travel across open borders in Europe, the UK, Ireland and Brazil.

"We believe a well-planned program focused on increasing testing of travelers to the US will further these objectives in a much more effective way than the blanket travel restrictions currently in place," the airlines' letter said. 

Airlines support a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) proposal to implement "a global program to require testing for travelers to the US," the letter added. 

A senior administration official said the CDC proposal to expand international testing requirements faces significant opposition.  
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