US Travel: Covid Pre-Screening Paused At US International Airports

Starting Monday, September 14, 2020, all Covid related operations in all US airports will be terminated. This includes pre-screenings that were conducted for all travelers arriving and departing from these airports.

Most international flights were being directed through the following international airports. These had the basic Covid screening procedures that included temperature checks, personalized health questionnaires, revelation of travel history and a mandate for quarantine, usually between 1-14 days. 

International Airports Conducting Covid Screening

  • Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) 
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) 
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Miami International Airport (MIA)
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Most health checks were being conducted based on the honor system wherein the passenger is expected to reveal the truth of his symptoms and exposure to Covid to the best of his ability. While screening protocols vary by state, airport and airline, these were not as strongly enforced across all airports in the US.

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Going forward, the US will have not have any country-wide policies for airport health screenings for either international or domestic travel, leaving each airport to implement its own processes, if at all. This is particularly enforced on inbound international passengers.

You can expect the following in US international airports in the coming months as a second wave is anticipated:

  • Submitting your contact information—such as phone number, email and address while in the US directly to the CDC to facilitate contact tracing
  • Empty middle seats within flights
  • Refuse entry into flights without wearing masks at all times

What You Should Know About Covid Procedures In Other International Airports

  • Only US essential workers are allowed to travel to Europe; others are refused entry
  • Expect to have your temperature checked at several check points
  • Strict social distancing protocols
  • Mandatory mask at all times
  • Declare your travel history
  • Declare your current travel itinerary
  • Download tracking apps to monitor risk of exposure
  • Disclose your contact information for contact tracing

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