Story at a glance

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is ordering airlines to hand over contact information for travelers that came to the U.S. from eight African countries.
  • The directive comes as health officials are scrambling to understand the threats posed by omicron, the new COVID-19 variant.
  • The CDC has also required all non-U.S. citizens to be fully vaccinated when flying into the country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is demanding that airlines turn over lists of passengers that flew from eight southern African countries in a new directive released on Tuesday.

As concerns over the new COVID-19 variant omicron grow, the CDC is now ordering airlines to submit the names and contact information of passengers that have visited the Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa or Zimbabwe in the past 14 days. 

The CDC is acting in accordance with a separate directive that came out in October, which asked airlines and aircraft operators to collect specified “designated information” for all passengers before boarding (but not more than 72 hours before departing from the flight’s foreign point of departure). That “designated information” has to be retained for 30 days and sent to the CDC within 24 hours of a request. 

The difference in Tuesday’s directive is that airlines must now hand over passenger information to the CDC, when previously they weren’t obligated to.


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According to Reuters, the CDC told airlines, "(The CDC) will provide the contact information of these passengers to jurisdictional state and local public health partners for public health follow-up. This follow-up may include recommendations for potential postarrival viral testing and quarantine and isolation.”

That contact information will include full names, addresses while in the U.S., primary contact phone numbers, secondary or emergency contact phone numbers and email addresses.

Last week the CDC updated its requirements for COVID-19 testing and now requires passengers to get tested regardless of vaccination status when traveling from a foreign country to the U.S.  

Americans who are fully vaccinated must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test no more than three days before traveling to the U.S., while unvaccinated people only have one day upon departure to get tested.

Non-U.S. citizens must be fully vaccinated to enter the U.S. by plane, with limited exceptions allowed.

According to Reuters, the Biden administration is considering whether to require air travelers to get another COVID-19 test within three to five days after arriving in the U.S. They could also require international passengers fill out an “attestation” form that would require them to follow all state and local public health orders.


BREAKING NEWS ON THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

SUPER ATHLETE REFUSES VACCINE, DIES TRAGICALLY

MODERNA CHIEF PREDICTS VACCINES COULD STRUGGLE AGAINST OMICRON

TRUMP’S WHITE HOUSE DOCTOR CALLS OMICRON A MIDTERM ELECTIONS TRICK

DOCTOR WHO DISCOVERED OMICRON EXPLAINS THE SYMPTOMS TO WATCH OUT FOR

EXPERTS PREDICT AN ALARMING SURGE OF US COVID-19 CASES THIS WINTER

Published on Dec 01, 2021