The United States announced that it plans to end enhanced health screening for some travelers from certain countries. This will most probably start next week. And visitors will not have to go through checking procedures at 15 large US airports.
However, these requirements were imposed in January to keep the virus from spreading. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the government will remove those edicts beginning Monday.
The CDC said that checking temperature and questioning the travelers about COVID-19 symptoms, has limited effectiveness. As some people short no symptoms or only minor ones. Travelers go through customs only after the health screening.
However, the health agency said that out of the 675,000 travelers who underwent the process. Less than 15 were the ones that were carriers of coronavirus. And it was more clear because of the extra screening.
The health agency said that instead, it will focus on other measures. That includes a stronger response to reports of illness at airports. It will focus on collecting passenger-contact electronically to avoid long lines. And “potential testing to reduce the risk of travel-related transmission” of the virus.
Enhanced Health Screening
The extra health screening will be for travelers who have been in China, Iran. Most countries in continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Brazil.
However, a trade group which represents the nation’s largest airlines praised the change.
“We continue to support spending scarce screening resources where they can best be utilized.” Airlines for America said in a statement Thursday, “and, given the extremely low number of passengers identified by the CDC as potentially having a health issue, agree that it no longer makes sense to continue screening at these airports.”
Whereas, 18 travel and airline groups are urging the administration to start pre-flight virus testing as a way to reopen international travel. The groups argue that more screening could allow countries to lift travel restrictions and quarantines that have shut down most travel between the U.S. and Europe.
Airlines such as Delta and Southwest have lobbied the Transportation Security Administration to check the temperature of passengers before letting them board the flights within the United States. However, the CDC is questioning the usefulness of temperature screening because of the large number of people that have the infection. And do not have fevers, and there is no widespread screening of domestic passengers.