CDC lifts negative testing requirement for international travelers

BOSTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is dropping requirements that international travelers test negative for COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States.  The announcement from the Biden Administration was welcome news for international travelers landing in Boston and beyond as of 12:01 Sunday morning.

A sigh of relief for some, that a negative COVID-19 test is no longer required to enter the U.S.

Malak Maekhael lives in Arizona but flew into Boston with his wife and three children early Sunday morning from Israel. Maekhael spoke to Boston 25 News while waiting for his ride.

“Actually, it’s great news, but we take the test already,” said Maekhael. “To be safe, we need to take the test. In case we arrive over here, and we need to take the test, and it’s going to be a problem.”

Also no longer necessary? Documentation of COVID-19 recovery prior to boarding a flight to the states. All of it welcome news for fliers after the initial requirement began back in January of 2021.  The lift now easing fears for fliers having to quarantine in a foreign country or finding adequate testing before a trip to the United States. 

Netaniel Gapizone shared some insight with Boston 25 News.

“Generally speaking it will make flying into the United States much, much easier. Today, we had to take a test like 24 hours before the flight. You need to find a place which is open and gives you the test results fast, so life is easier,”  Gapizone stated.

Airlines predict getting rid of this requirement will bring in 4.3 million passengers in one year.

Another international passenger and his wife here in Boston were a little frustrated coming off a red-eye from Israel to visit their son studying at Harvard.

Nathan Dreyfuss believes the information sharing process could have been better streamlined.

“Since our flight was Saturday night, after midnight, we were not sure whether the lifting applies already to us or not,” he said. “We made extreme efforts – it was very difficult because we had Saturday Shabbot in Israel and we almost missed our flight because we made check, where we had to make it.  And then, when we got to the check in we recognized it was all for nothing, and that was extremely frustrating and it could be organized a little bit more efficiently. "

CDC officials say they’ll re-visit this decision in three months.

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