Airlines Push For End Of Test-Before-Flight Rule For Inbound Vaxxed Flyers
News outlets cover requests from the airline industry that requirements for international vaccinated travelers to test negative before boarding U.S.-bound flights be dropped. Other outlets cover the president's 500 million free test push, fraudulent test sites, and advice on using at-home tests.
Airlines Ask Biden To Drop Covid Testing For Vaccinated Travelers Before U.S.-Bound Flights
Airlines and other travel-industry groups asked the Biden administration on Wednesday to drop Covid test requirements for vaccinated passengers before U.S.-bound flights, a bid to invigorate the sluggish recovery in international travel. “Doing so is justified by the pervasiveness of COVID cases in all 50 states, increased immunity and higher vaccination rates as well as new treatments,” said an industry letter to White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeffrey Zients, which was seen by CNBC. “Removing the requirement will greatly support the recovery of travel and aviation in the United States and globally without increasing the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.” (Josephs, 2/2)
Travel Groups Want To Scrap Testing Requirement To Enter US
Airline and tourism groups are pushing to eliminate the government requirement that international travelers provide a negative test for COVID-19 before boarding a U.S.-bound plane. They believe the testing rule is discouraging people from booking international trips. They point to the United Kingdom, which eliminated a similar rule last month. (Koenig, 2/2)
In other news about covid testing —
The New York Times:
Biden Promised 500 Million Free Covid Tests. Then He Had To Find Them.
As the United States saw a nearly vertical increase in coronavirus cases in late December and a growing backlash over a shortage of rapid tests, President Biden promised that his administration would mail 500 million of them to Americans, free of charge. There was a major hitch: The administration had yet to secure a single test kit for the program. The announcement sent officials hunting for stockpiles in warehouses around the country and uncommitted supply from large manufacturers. (Weiland, Thomas and Silver-Greenberg, 2/2)
The Wall Street Journal:
Fraudulent Covid-19 Test Sites Proliferate, Triggering Consumer Warnings
Officials nationwide are trying to stay ahead of a proliferation of Covid-19 test sites that they say are offering fraudulent services to the public. Attorneys general in states including New Mexico, Oregon, Florida, Minnesota, New York and Illinois have shut down pop-up test locations, or issued warnings, citing late or false test results and theft of people’s personal information. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has warned that “scammers are preying on people looking for Covid tests.” (Levitz, 2/2)
When You Should Be Using Your At-Home COVID Tests
Public health specialists say rapid tests are good for a range of scenarios, including testing after symptoms and to lower the risk of passing the virus to others, including children not yet eligible for vaccination or those at higher risk for severe illness. "In the last two months alone, I've used home testing for all three of the major indications: experiencing COVID symptoms, after a known COVID exposure and prior to a gathering indoors with higher-risk individuals," said Dr. Alok Patel, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at Stanford University. (Rajeshuni, 2/3)