Published: Thu, January 14, 2021
Medical | By

Countries introduce negative COVID-19 testing requirements for global travellers

Countries introduce negative COVID-19 testing requirements for global travellers

The order which applies to Nigerian travelers as well now requires worldwide travelers coming into the country to get a viral test within three days of departure and share their negative results with their airline before a flight.

Airlines are ordered to stop passengers from boarding if they do not have proof of a negative test. Travelers can also provide documentation that they had the infection in the past and recovered.

This decision reflects current infrastructure challenges in these countries, including limited COVID-19 testing capacity and heightened demand for tests. The new order takes effect in two weeks.

The delay came after passengers booked on long-haul flights scrabbled to find tests in time and feared they would incur £500 fines if unable to access one.

Arrivals from green and orange countries under the European Union traffic light system will not be required to restrict their movements upon arrival with proof of a negative Covid-19 test, but must adhere to local public health guidance.

American health officials say that anyone flying to the United States will soon need to show proof of a negative test for COVID-19.

"Testing does not eliminate all risk", CDC Director Robert R. Redfield said in a statement.

The CDC recommends those arriving from outside the U.S. to get tested again 3-5 days after arrival and stay home for seven days post-travel - something it says will help slow the spread of Covid-19 within United States communities from travel-related infections.


Since late December, the federal agency had already required a negative coronavirus test for people, including USA citizens, flying to the US from the United Kingdom, the first known place that a new, more transmissible strain of the virus was circulating.

Canada imposed similar rules for almost all worldwide arrivals starting January 7, as did many other countries.

What are the new United States norms?

Passengers still have the option to reduce their self-isolation period as part of the Test to Release scheme launched last month, unless they have been in South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Zambia or Zimbabwe in the 10 days prior to their arrival in England.

COVID is already widespread in the US, with more than 22 million cases reported to date, including more than 375,000 deaths.

Airlines have been pushing for pre-flight testing instead of continued travel restrictions between the US and the rest of the world.

People are being encouraged by their public health authorities to not travel, even domestically, said Henry Hartevedlt, a travel analyst for Atmosphere Research Group.

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