U.S. CDC handing out free COVID-19 home test kits to international travellers – National
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has started distributing free COVID-19 home test kits to international travellers, the agency said on Thursday.
The CDC said it began distributing the kits on Wednesday and is giving them out at Minneapolis-St Paul, Miami and Chicago O’Hare and will soon add Dallas-Fort Worth. It plans to add four additional unidentified international airports in the coming weeks.
The CDC encourages – but does not mandate – international air travelers to get a new COVID-19 test upon arriving in the United States.
New rules took effect on Dec. 6 to require nearly all people flying to the United States to obtain a negative COVID-19 test within one day of travel.
Under the prior rules, vaccinated international air travelers could present a negative test result obtained within three days of their day of departure. Unvaccinated travelers had to get a negative COVID-19 test within one day of departure. The tighter testing timeline “provides an added degree of public health protection as scientists continue to assess the Omicron variant,” the White House said.
Should Rapid Tests be Free for All?
On Nov. 29, the White House barred nearly all foreign nationals from entering the United States from eight southern African countries over fears of the spread of the Omicron variant. But it has not extended those travel restrictions to other countries where the new variant has been discovered.