WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government confirmed on Thursday it will end enhanced screening of some international passengers for COVID-19 and drop requirements that travelers coming from the targeted countries arrive at 15 designated U.S. airports, starting Monday.
Reuters reported the planned shift Wednesday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement it was removing the requirements because symptom-based screening has limited effectiveness because people with COVID-19 may have no symptoms or only mild symptoms.
The administration imposed enhanced screening requirements in February on travelers who had been in China, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, Iran and the Schengen region of Europe, and barred most non-U.S. citizens who had recently been in those locations from coming to the United States.
All of those travelers were required to arrive at 15 U.S. airports including Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Atlanta, New York JFK, Miami, Los Angeles, Washington-Dulles, Newark, Seattle and San Francisco.
Airlines for America, a group representing American Airlines , Delta Air Lines and United Airlines , said members “no longer believe that it makes sense to continue screening at these 15 airports given the extremely low number of passengers identified by the CDC as potentially having a health issue.”