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CDC: Negative COVID-19 test required for air passengers to enter and leave the US


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2 hours ago, Roz said:

Would a cruise ship be able to have the facilities to test thousands of passenger and get results back prior to disembarkation?  Would the cruise lines have to hire additional medical personnel to administer tests and process them?  I don't see how this is doable or remotely cost effective.

 

If passengers test positive, what will be done with them?  Will they put back out at sea to get sicker or die?

You have done a good job expressing some of the concerns mentioned in the published CDC Guidelines.  In order for cruises to resume (from US Ports) the cruise lines will need to submit a plan of how they intend to deal with a COVID case onboard, including agreements from ports and hospitals willing to accept the COVID patients.  The cruise lines will also need to explain how they will deal with the hundreds/thousands of other passengers onboard, will they need to quarantine, where?, at whose cost, etc.  The cruise lines will also need to deal with how they are going to get all those cruisers back home if they are not permitted to use public transport such as air.  

 

As of now, no ship has even attempted to get CDC certification to begin operations.  The reality of complying with the Guidelines have certainly hit home and the cruise lines must deal with the reality.  While vaccinations are not 100% they are apparently well over 90% effective and are certainly the clearest path to restarting cruising.  The CDC has now posted their rules for Americans who are out of the country and want to fly home.  In those posted rules the CDC says that everyone must be tested within 72 hours of flying back to the USA....even if they have been vaccinated!  The only exception are those that have previously tested positive....and those folks will need a physicians letter attesting that they have recovered from COVID (retesting within 3 months is not recommended).   What we find interesting about the current CDC post is that they specify either a PCR or Antigen test.  It is surprising that the CDC is willing to accept antigen tests (which have a relatively high false negative problem) but that is certainly a way forward for cruise lines since antigen tests are relatively inexpensive and can be analyzed without an expensive lab facility.

 

I think the most difficult problem facing cruise lines will be the resistance from customers to cruise.  Why?  Most folks cannot reasonably take the risk of being quarantined for many days/weeks in the e event of even a single case of COVID on a cruise.  While many would normally take their chances on a cruise those same folks may well not be willing to take their chances on a significant delay getting back home, missing work, school, etc.   And who will pay the cost of these delays?  That is still a question.

 

We are not opposed to travel (we are currently in residence in Mexico) and understand that we will need to test negative before we can fly back to the States.  But on a land trip that is relatively easy to do and we have lots of control over our own situation (unlike being on a ship).   Where we live we can go out to restaurants (all open), bars, clubs, shops, etc.  Yes, there are mask requirements and most folks do their best to social distance.  But this is all under our own control which is unlike what happens on a cruise ship.  Unfortunately for the cruise industry, COVID is like a perfect storm that attacks vessels.  The closed environment of a vessel coupled with being at the mercy of each and every port is an awful situation.  Vaccines perhaps in conjunction with testing seems to be the only way forward for the industry....but even that may not be enough to get access to most ports :(.

 

Hank

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48 minutes ago, nocl said:

CDC requirements in place until Nov already require testing of all passengers prior to disembarkation, so no impact.

 

Exactly; this was spelled out in the Framework that was released earlier. Testing required at both start and end of cruise.

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3 hours ago, kebrown said:

This really bothers me.  If this requirement remains in place, I will not be doing any international traveling anymore.  And I am afraid that it will effectively kill the cruise industry.  I have a Japan cruise scheduled for next year on the Solstice and if this requirement is still in place by then, I will cancel my cruise.

 

You would cancel just because of having to get the test?  Or is it based on concern that if testing is required, then travel isn't safe?

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 This is already covered in the Framework for restarting cruising that the CDC issued last fall.

 

In item 10 on page 25, CDC requires that the "cruise ship operator must conduct laboratory testing of all passengers and crew on the day of embarkation and the day of disembarkation as required by CDC technical instructions or orders. Laboratory test results must be available prior to passengers embarking and prior to passengers and crew departing to their final destinations after disembarking the ship. Crew and passengers must also be laboratory tested again post-disembarkation as required by CDC technical instructions or orders."

 

This is why cruise ships are having to reconfigure their medical resources onboard in order to have capacity to handle this testing requirement.

 

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3 hours ago, Roz said:

Would a cruise ship be able to have the facilities to test thousands of passenger and get results back prior to disembarkation?  Would the cruise lines have to hire additional medical personnel to administer tests and process them?  I don't see how this is doable or remotely cost effective.

 

I think these are great questions. Having worked at CDC a few lifetimes ago I've wondered what kind of equipment is necessary. And what kind of training staff might need? Does anyone know if it's 'just' positive or negative or are there degrees/titers of +/- . Do the materials for thousands of people take up a ton of room? Etc. For PR sake I think it's kinda too bad that no one seems to be giving out any of the basic nitty gritty.

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1 hour ago, nocl said:

CDC requirements in place until Nov already require testing of all passengers prior to disembarkation, so no impact.

 

I thought testing on disembarkation was only for the test cruises.  Granted it's been a few months since I read it.   Is it really for all sailings after conditional sailing is approved?

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15 hours ago, prunderw said:

I can't see how this new CDC rule wouldn't be applied to any cruise which visits a foreign port. 

 

Not sure.  The notice specifically calls out air passengers and not travelers arriving by sea or land.  For example, I have heard nothing about this locally with respect to land crossings from Mexico.  

 

5 hours ago, Hlitner said:

Here in Mexico (where we currently are in residence) the cost of a PCR test varies between $125 - $250 per person.

 

Going rate of a quick turnaround private PCR test in TJ is about 2500 pesos which matches your low end number.

 

4 hours ago, Roz said:

Would a cruise ship be able to have the facilities to test thousands of passenger and get results back prior to disembarkation?  Would the cruise lines have to hire additional medical personnel to administer tests and process them?  I don't see how this is doable or remotely cost effective.

 

I think it is more possible then probable or cost effective for the lines.  Cruising simply needs to wait a while longer for things to calm down and get vaccines distributed.

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1 hour ago, wrk2cruise said:

 

I thought testing on disembarkation was only for the test cruises.  Granted it's been a few months since I read it.   Is it really for all sailings after conditional sailing is approved?

Nope it is in two places both as part of the minimum conditions for the test voyages as well as part of the minimum requirements for getting and keeping the sail certification. So expect to be tested both as part of embarkation and as part of disembarkation. 

 

No more early flights since it will add some extra time and uncertainty to the disembarkation process.

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I think  proof of vaccination  will  eventually replace testing or reduce reliance upon tests for cruising and air travel. So far there are  no test requirements on domestic flights in the US, but tests are required to before & upon return to certain states like New York in order to avoid longer quarantine periods.  Tampa/ TPA  offers tests ( for a fee) right at the airport...

 

We were lucky to get our first shot yesterday at a hosp site in Florida USA that really had it worked out well.  Kudos to DeSoto Memorial Hospital, Arcadia Florida!

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Canada introduced a similar requirement a week before the U.S. causing me to give up any thought of my annual trip to Florida.  I can easily get the test within 72 hours before returning home but if the test were positive I'd be stranded in Florida at the mercy of the American health care system if I fell ill. No thanks. 

 

 

Edited by K32682
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21 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

You would cancel just because of having to get the test?  Or is it based on concern that if testing is required, then travel isn't safe?

 

It doesn't necessarily have to do with just cruising, but my concern is what happens if you correctly or falsely test positive.  We were all set to fly to Cancun in 2 weeks to spend a week at an all-inclusive.  When this new rule came down the hotel was all over it, offering qualifying free tests right at the hotel.  But we are still canceling because having a test is only part of it.  The consequences of testing positive, low probability though it is, are too murky and unclear beyond just not being able to board the plane, to make us comfortable with going.  This new rule is about the only thing that would have stopped us.

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6 hours ago, hcat said:

I think  proof of vaccination  will  eventually replace testing or reduce reliance upon tests for cruising and air travel. So far there are  no test requirements on domestic flights in the US, but tests are required to before & upon return to certain states like New York in order to avoid longer quarantine periods.  Tampa/ TPA  offers tests ( for a fee) right at the airport...

 

We were lucky to get our first shot yesterday at a hosp site in Florida USA that really had it worked out well.  Kudos to DeSoto Memorial Hospital, Arcadia Florida!

Guess I am wrong...

Local Fl paper (Herald Tribune) had an article ( or reprint) from USA Today  by Dawn Gilbert that discusses the new  air travel into the US  rules.  There's an extensive Q and A...which says if you have received the Vaccine you are NOT exempt from testing.  Does that mean that Vaccinated indiviuals can still spread Covid to others,?  Confusing!

 

Wonder what NYS will require when we return there via air next month. We not planning to test,    Maybe we will have to wait out the quarantine.  NY gov changes the rules alot so we will see what happens.

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27 minutes ago, Toofarfromthesea said:

 

It doesn't necessarily have to do with just cruising, but my concern is what happens if you correctly or falsely test positive.  We were all set to fly to Cancun in 2 weeks to spend a week at an all-inclusive.  When this new rule came down the hotel was all over it, offering qualifying free tests right at the hotel.  But we are still canceling because having a test is only part of it.  The consequences of testing positive, low probability though it is, are too murky and unclear beyond just not being able to board the plane, to make us comfortable with going.  This new rule is about the only thing that would have stopped us.

 

Another example...we booked a week to Hawaii (Oahu/Waikiki).  We called Hawaii and followed all their requirements.  At the time we booked, we were told a covid test is required 72 hours before arriving in Hawaii BUT you can still board your flight and wait at your hotel until your results come in. 

 

Sounded good to us.......well.....then Hawaii changed their rules a week after we booked.

 

The rule is now to have a negative result within 72 hours BEFORE boarding your last leg/flight to Hawaii.  This made it a bit more difficult.  Our plan to use our hospital (Kaiser Permanente) for our test informed us that they cannot guarantee the test results to come back within 72 hours...because there were just way too many people being tested.  Others suggested "rapid testing"...but most of these places were not "an accepted testing partner", and have you seen some of the outrageous prices of some of these tests?  Sadly, we decided to cancel...Aloha.

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1 hour ago, Toofarfromthesea said:

We were all set to fly to Cancun in 2 weeks to spend a week at an all-inclusive.  When this new rule came down the hotel was all over it, offering qualifying free tests right at the hotel.  But we are still canceling because having a test is only part of it.  The consequences of testing positive, low probability though it is, are too murky and unclear beyond just not being able to board the plane, to make us comfortable with going.  This new rule is about the only thing that would have stopped us.

 

20 minutes ago, bonsai3s said:

 

Another example...we booked a week to Hawaii (Oahu/Waikiki).  We called Hawaii and followed all their requirements.  At the time we booked, we were told a covid test is required 72 hours before arriving in Hawaii BUT you can still board your flight and wait at your hotel until your results come in. 

 

Sounded good to us.......well.....then Hawaii changed their rules a week after we booked.

 

The rule is now to have a negative result within 72 hours BEFORE boarding your last leg/flight to Hawaii.  This made it a bit more difficult.  Our plan to use our hospital (Kaiser Permanente) for our test informed us that they cannot guarantee the test results to come back within 72 hours...because there were just way too many people being tested.  Others suggested "rapid testing"...but most of these places were not "an accepted testing partner", and have you seen some of the outrageous prices of some of these tests?  Sadly, we decided to cancel...Aloha.

 

While these examples certainly help clarify peoples' thinking, I have to wonder why people are not taking the CDC warnings more seriously to avoid ANY NON-ESSENTIAL travel to almost all countries, globally (this includes the US). Yes, nearly all countries are under the highest level advisory (Level 4, see link), and yet people are looking at ways to vacation and "duck" the general rules.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html

 

Perhaps the fact that people are not taking these recommendations seriously is one reason why these added testing restrictions have been added....?

 

Really -- I have read post after post on these boards from travelers in the past who have canceled entire cruises due to a Level 2 warning regarding safety in some country such as Israel.  But Level 4 health warnings go unregarded. Strange times we live in.

 

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1 hour ago, bonsai3s said:

 

Another example...we booked a week to Hawaii (Oahu/Waikiki).  We called Hawaii and followed all their requirements.  At the time we booked, we were told a covid test is required 72 hours before arriving in Hawaii BUT you can still board your flight and wait at your hotel until your results come in. 

 

Sounded good to us.......well.....then Hawaii changed their rules a week after we booked.

 

The rule is now to have a negative result within 72 hours BEFORE boarding your last leg/flight to Hawaii.  This made it a bit more difficult.  Our plan to use our hospital (Kaiser Permanente) for our test informed us that they cannot guarantee the test results to come back within 72 hours...because there were just way too many people being tested.  Others suggested "rapid testing"...but most of these places were not "an accepted testing partner", and have you seen some of the outrageous prices of some of these tests?  Sadly, we decided to cancel...Aloha.

You can do it. We did. Not sure where you live, but we used Worksite Labs...turned around in 13 hours, for $90pp. 

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2 hours ago, hcat said:

Does that mean that Vaccinated indiviuals can still spread Covid to others,?  Confusing!

You can still get and pass CV along to others who may not have been vaccinated.  It takes time for vaccine to start working. 

 

Like the annual flu shot only covers 2-3 variants out of thousands. You may get one of the covered variants and won't get sick. Get one of the variants that you never had or wasn't in a prior shot, well...🤢

Edited by Philob
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1 hour ago, Philob said:

You can still get and pass CV along to others who may not have been vaccinated.  It takes time for vaccine to start working. 

 

Like the annual flu shot only covers 2-3 variants out of thousands. You may get one of the covered variants and won't get sick. Get one of the variants that you never had or wasn't in a prior shot, well...🤢

 Not all of this is well and clearly documented at this point. That is why they are being very cautious about saying you could get it and transfer it to others. Plus, they current stated efficacy is 95%, far higher than any flu vaccine.

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2 hours ago, Philob said:

You can still get and pass CV along to others who may not have been vaccinated.  It takes time for vaccine to start working. 

 

Like the annual flu shot only covers 2-3 variants out of thousands. You may get one of the covered variants and won't get sick. Get one of the variants that you never had or wasn't in a prior shot, well...🤢

Are you making this up ?  It seems that professionals in the field have not been advised.

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4 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

You can do it. We did. Not sure where you live, but we used Worksite Labs...turned around in 13 hours, for $90pp. 

 

CruiserBruce...thank you!

Always respected your post, advice, and suggestions.  We are just south of Yosemite National Park.

We contacted SFO and were told there's rapid testing available at the airport. 

Regrettably, the cost was $261 per person...yikes.

We'll be looking at Worksite Labs...thanks again! 😊

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58 minutes ago, Philob said:

You should take the time to actually read, and try to understand, such news stories.  Your own citation made it clear that the individual came down with COVID (and was able to transmit it) six days after receiving the shot.  It also made it clear that or takes 10 to 14 days for the vaccine to take effect.

 

I know that such attention to detail impedes anti-vexing blurbs, but that’s life —- facts sometimes interfere with folklore.

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9 hours ago, bonsai3s said:

 

Another example...we booked a week to Hawaii (Oahu/Waikiki).  We called Hawaii and followed all their requirements.  At the time we booked, we were told a covid test is required 72 hours before arriving in Hawaii BUT you can still board your flight and wait at your hotel until your results come in. 

 

Sounded good to us.......well.....then Hawaii changed their rules a week after we booked.

 

The rule is now to have a negative result within 72 hours BEFORE boarding your last leg/flight to Hawaii.  This made it a bit more difficult.  Our plan to use our hospital (Kaiser Permanente) for our test informed us that they cannot guarantee the test results to come back within 72 hours...because there were just way too many people being tested.  Others suggested "rapid testing"...but most of these places were not "an accepted testing partner", and have you seen some of the outrageous prices of some of these tests?  Sadly, we decided to cancel...Aloha.

 

I applaud your decision to cancel.  If there is one thing I have accepted with this pandemic is that the situation is fluid and changing daily.  Anyone who chooses to travel and leave their country does so with the risk that things may change while they away and they may very well have a difficult time returning.

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