Now that Pete Buttigieg is in charge of the Transportation Department (because he’s always liked cars, you know), does he have any new plans in the works? One thing that’s made it onto his radar is the possibility of requiring a negative COVID test from anyone wishing to board a flight, including regional and domestic routes. According to Buttigieg, that’s a conversation currently going on between his office and the CDC. Requiring tests for international travel makes sense as long as there are different variants cropping up around the world. But for short hops between regional airports and the major hubs? Let’s see where this edition of “Follow the Science” is taking us. (NY Times)
Federal officials are considering whether to require airline passengers to have a negative coronavirus test before boarding domestic flights, according to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Proof of a negative test result is already required for passengers boarding international flights bound for the United States, under a policy imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month.
In a program that aired on Sunday night, Mr. Buttigieg told “Axios on HBO” that “there’s an active conversation with the C.D.C. right now” about whether to require a negative test for domestic travel as well.
On top of this, we’ve already learned that the domestic airlines don’t plan on lifting their face mask requirements any time soon, assuming they ever do. So let’s see if we have this straight. If you are forced to board an airplane on a domestic flight for some reason, you’re going to need to provide proof of a negative COVID test. Would that be one of those “instant tests” they could do with a swab at the TSA checkpoints or would a test from your doctor’s office or public testing site be good enough? If the latter, how “fresh” would the test have to be? If you were tested a couple of days earlier, you could have walked past any number of sneezing, breathing, or singing individuals in that period, particularly if you’re navigating your way around an airport.