US to require negative Covid-19 tests for all international air passengers, sources say

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Us To Require Negative Covid-19 Tests For All International Air Passengers, Sources Say Us To Require Negative Covid-19 Tests For All International Air Passengers, Sources Say
The head of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to sign an order on Tuesday. Photo: PA Images.
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Thomson Reuters

The head of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to sign an order on Tuesday expanding coronavirus testing requirements for all international air travellers beyond Britain, sources briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The new rules are set to take effect two weeks from the day they are signed, which would be January 26th.

CDC has been urgently pressing for an expansion of the requirements with the Trump administration for weeks.

One remaining issue is how to address some countries that have limited testing capacity and how the CDC would address travel to those countries, the sources said.

It comes as the Trump administration said on Tuesday it is releasing millions of Covid-19 vaccine doses it had been holding back for second shots.

Vaccination pace

The administration urged states to offer them to all Americans over age 65 or with chronic health conditions.

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US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said during a news briefing that the US pace of inoculations has risen to 700,000 shots per day, and is expected to rise to one million per day within a week to 10 days.

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Releasing doses that have been held back should bring the total number of doses that have been made available for use in the US to roughly 38 million, Azar said. States have already received about 25.5 million doses, according to data from the CDC.

Last week, a spokesman for President-elect Joe Biden said Mr Biden, who takes office next week, would accelerate distribution of Covid-19 vaccines to jump-start lagging inoculations by releasing more doses.

Most states prioritised healthcare workers and nursing home staff and residents for their first deliveries of Covid-19 vaccines, which began last month, following CDC recommendations.

The process of inoculating those groups has been slow due partly to the complexity of giving them the vaccines and a lack of federal planning beyond distribution to states.

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