On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it was in serious discussions on requiring travelers to test negative for the coronavirus before flying domestically.
According to Reuters, the head of the agency’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine told reporters during a call that it is “actively looking” at placing tighter restrictions now that new variants of the COVID-19 virus continue to spread globally and here in the U.S.
There are “conversations that are ongoing and looking at what the types and locations of testing might be,” said Marty Cetron. “We’re actively looking at it.”
Earlier this week, the U.S. set a policy that requires international travelers to test negative for the virus before entering the country. However, at the moment, there are no nationwide restrictions for travelers traveling within American borders.
The CDC has long advised citizens to avoid nonessential travel, and some localities like Washington, D.C., have required travelers to test negative before visiting.
“Testing does not eliminate all risk,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield last week. “But when combined with a period of staying at home and everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer, healthier, and more responsible by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at destinations.”
The country remains a COVID-19 hotspot and is number one among the countries for the most cases. Over 26 million cases have been reported, and there have been 425,000 related deaths, The Hill reports.