Many airports and airlines are starting to offer pre-flight COVID tests to help build confidence among travelers. According to the Washington Post, over 100 countries already require a negative COVID test before entering, and now, domestic interstate travel in the US could mimic those practices.
The travel industry (especially airlines) is desperate to rebuild the assurance of safety among travelers. Pre-flight COVID tests could be the answer. Currently, United and Hawaiian offer COVID testing on select routes and JetBlue created a program that allows all passengers to partake in at-home testing. There are also airports that have their own testing programs, such as Tampa international and Laguardia in NYC.
Until a vaccine can be rolled out on a national scale in 2021, expect to see more and more airlines and airports offering COVID testing. It could be a great way to help open the economy until the pandemic is fully over. It’s also a potential solution for keeping COVID rates down while allowing Americans to get back to flying the friendly skies.
However, as CNN reports, don’t simply rely on a negative COVID test to determine whether you’re completely COVID-free. Tests, especially rapid tests, become more and more inaccurate the closer someone takes it after exposure. For example, if you test the day after you’ve been exposed to COVID, there’s a good chance it won’t be caught yet since COVID can have a 14-day incubation period. While testing is helpful, it’s critical that everyone continues wearing their masks, social distancing, and avoiding crowded spaces. If we can do all that, and add testing on top of it, America could easily get its exploding COVID numbers under control.