Travelers To The US Will Be Required To Quarantine Upon Arrival

It was just last week that we learned a negative COVID-19 test result would be required for all passengers entering the US.  This is applicable to US citizens and visitors alike, with airline crews one of the only groups largely exempted from the rule.  Now, it appears that the United States will institute a requirement to quarantine upon arrival as well.

There aren’t a ton of details on what the quarantine requirement will look like just yet.  For better or worse, I expect it won’t be nearly as restrictive as some countries. New Zealand has very strict quarantine requirements, including multiple tests during your quarantine period. I had a friend attempting to enter Norway recently to see an ailing family member.  At that time, the requirements were that arriving passengers who were not Norwegian citizens would be transported to a government quarantine facility (essentially, a monitored airport hotel).

I think it’s highly unlikely we’ll see anything nearly that restrictive for returning US residents.  There’s a possibility arriving non-residents might be subject to more stringent requirements.  However, I really don’t see that as likely.  There are so many major international entry points in the US.  Any effort to quarantine arriving international passengers would be a massive undertaking.  Dozens of airports would need quarantine facilities and officers to man them.  Could it be done?  Absolutely.  I just question whether the government has the willpower to do so.  And, I imagine it would meet some stiff legal challenges.

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  1. I don’t see how they will be able to do this. I don’t think they have the manpower. For example, I am flying to Cozumel next week, and coming back Valentine’s day. My flight is not direct-I have to change in Dallas. I can see how they can monitor the big international airports, but I am flying into my local small airport. Do you think they have the manpower to find me at this airport? I will have already cleared customs before. The crazy thing is I decided to vacation in Cozumel because they have had 46 cases there since the outbreak began. In my hometown, we have been having 50 a day here. I am much safer there than here. In MA, we already had to take a COVID test to get back into the state 3 days before flying back, and it had to be a PCR test. I’ve had one scheduled for a month. I am staying at two large resorts especially since I can stay socially distant.

    1. Stay because it’s warm and pleasant and you can have space to be distant. But don’t go believing that 46 case number is representative of what’s actually going on.

    2. Stephanie, it’s a confusing time for travel. Some folks are really comfortable on the road, others at home. Both are totally fine in my book. I suspect we’ll find out that the new government orders won’t stretch as far as other countries. But, the presence of the orders is probably enough to deter some travel.

  2. I really hate to be negative but testing plus quarantine ends leisure travel for 99% of “potential” travelers which are already few in number. When you pair that with hardly any business travel it makes little sense for the airlines to continue any international routes. KLM seems like the only folks that have this figured out so far, sadly.

      1. Yes you right but if before was let say 10 now would be 13, but I guess is life nothing we can do as long we stay healthy

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