According to an article by USA Today, the US will no longer be performing widespread COVID screenings for international passengers. Instead, airports will be turning to a “symptom-based” screening regimen.
The new screening protocol will include things like pre-departure and post-arrival health education (what this means has yet to be announced), voluntary electronic contact information collection, and post-arrival recommendations for self-monitoring, including self-isolating; in short, the new screening protocol involves no real screening whatsoever.
What all this means is less testing and less effective ways of preventing COVID transmission from incoming visitors. The biggest problem is that many people may be asymptomatic, have mild symptoms, or may not be at the point yet where symptoms are severe enough to notice (but are still contagious). By asking people to “self-monitor” instead of performing testing and checks, there’s no way to guarantee even the slightest amount of national protection.
However, having said that, passengers visiting the USA have more to fear than we do. The United States has the worst COVID outbreak in the entire world. To date, the US has almost 6.5 million confirmed cases (the most in the world) and over 193,000 deaths (the most in the world.) The reality is that visitors are putting themselves at much more risk by visiting the USA than we are of allowing them in.
But ending testing at airports is yet another example of where the US government has decided to actively avoid working to keep its people safe from the virus.