The US government announced yesterday that all air travelers arriving in the USA after January 26, must have evidence of a negative Covid-19 test within three days of their travel. It will be a horrible blow to the travel economy and will limit a lot of Americans’ travel plans.
U.S. Will Require All International Arriving Passengers To Have A Covid-19 Test
This is a really poor public policy. The USA has the worst rate of infection of any country on the planet. Who are we “protecting” at home when we bar someone from entry when he is coming from a nation that has a lower infection rate than the USA?
Countries in the developing world do not have the same capacity for testing that the US has. Travelers simply may not even be able to get tests.
I’m in Mexico right now. Currently, without a testing requirement, the labs down here are scheduling PCR tests 7-10 days out. Mexico doesn’t have the infrastructure in place to do them any faster. As soon as the USA implements this requirement on the 26th, there will be massive new demands for testing and no ability to satisfy those demands.
People estimate down here that it may take two to three weeks to get tested after the new requirement is in place.
And keep in mind that I am in a very developed part of Mexico looking at a long wait for a test. How are you going to get tested in rural Uganda or the Peruvian jungle? I had plans to travel to both of those locations in 2021. This ruling will either prohibit me from traveling there or force me to stay an extra three days in a big city in one of those countries waiting for my test results to come in.
The requirement will effectively stop any “long weekend” international travel. It will also make larger families stop traveling internationally. With the tests costing $100-$150 each way, it gets really expensive to take your spouse and three kids on an international getaway.
What I also find curious is that you will be able to fly with a negative test or proof that you’ve already recovered from a past case of Covid-19. Having taken both doses of the vaccine isn’t good enough. What does that say about the government’s true opinion of the efficacy of the vaccination?
The only thing this restriction will do is to further destroy the travel industry and create a huge market for forged testing results.
It’s a good thing I got a six-month travel visa here in Mexico. I may be stuck for awhile. That might not be a bad thing. Overall, people in Mexico seem to be far more sensible about effective precautions than the politicians in the USA.