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CDC announces end to COVID-19 testing for entry to US

The decision, however, comes as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in various European countries and in Israel

Illustrative - American Airlines airplane (Photo: Sergey Kustov/Wikimedia Commons)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday announced that travelers entering America will no longer be required to show a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding their flight.

The decision goes into effect on Sunday at midnight.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has now shifted to a new phase, due to the widespread uptake of highly effective COVID-19 vaccines, the availability of effective therapeutics, and the accrual of high rates of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity at the population level in the United States,” the CDC said in a statement. “Each of these measures has contributed to lower risk of severe disease and death across the United States. As a result, this requirement which was needed at an earlier stage in the pandemic may be withdrawn.”  

“CDC continues to recommend that those travelers boarding a flight to the U.S. get tested for current infection with a viral test as close to the time of departure as possible (no more than 3 days) and not travel if they are sick,” the agency added.

The decision comes as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in various European countries and in Israel.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz met with senior health officials to discuss the increase in morbidity. They decided to step up protection for the older population and Magen Avot institutions, as well as to recommend that older people and individuals who are at high risk for developing severe disease wear masks in closed spaces. 

The requirement to wear masks in medical and Magen Avot institutions, as well as the monitoring of sewage systems, will continue.

On Sunday morning, the Health Ministry reported that 3,259 people were diagnosed with the virus the day before. Some 29% of the people who were screened tested positive. 

The number of serious cases has been rising, reaching 105 people by Sunday morning, the ministry showed.

Only two weeks ago, coronavirus commissioner Prof. Salman Zarka said that less than a handful of people were being admitted to the hospital each day. Last week, there were 89 new serious cases – an increase of 89%.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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