Biden administration considers mandatory COVID-19 tests for domestic air travel, official says
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Dr. Marty Cetron, director for the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters Tuesday that the administration is "actively looking" into imposing the domestic travel testing requirement.
"We also have to look at the possible planning in domestic travel," Cetron said. "We’re actively looking at it. We realize that there’s been a dramatic evolution and increase in both testing platforms and testing capacity."
A man receives a nasal swab COVID-19 test at Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Dec. 22, 2020. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Cetron said the conversation on the matter is "ongoing" as they work to determine the type of testing and where it would take place.
No further details were released on the potential mandate. Nonetheless, it is a "really important part" in combating the pandemic, he said.
Representatives for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not immediately responded to Fox News' request for comment.
The requirement would expand upon the United States' new international testing requirement, which took effect Tuesday. As of Jan. 26, all U.S.-bound travelers must test negative for COVID-19 within three days of boarding their flights or present proof of having recovered from the virus.
The agency said it delayed the effective date until Jan. 26 to give airlines and travelers time to comply.
COVID-19 is already widespread in the U.S., with more than 25 million cases reported to date, including more than 425,000 deaths. The new measures are designed to try to prevent travelers from bringing in newer forms of the virus that scientists say can spread more easily.
"At this point in time, we don’t have evidence that these variant strains have evaded our ability to detect them with the testing strategies out there," Cetron said. "And the scientific community is following that space very closely as well."
Still, he said these tests "are just one part of a very important, comprehensive, multilayered strategy designed to mitigate the risk, to combat the virus."
This "multilayered strategy" includes the wearing of masks, washing hands, keeping distance, avoiding crowds wherever possible and closed indoor spaces.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.