A CDC official has said that the Biden Administration is actively considering requiring a negative Covid-19 test for domestic flights and not just for international flights to the U.S. which is now in place.
During its earnings call Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly pushed back asking, “Why pick on air travel?”
If you want to test people, test them, but test them before they go to the grocery store. Test them before they go to a restaurant. Test them before they go to a sporting event.
However American Airlines CEO Doug Parker says this just isn’t something on the immediate agenda. He told employees on Thursday at an internal event, a recording of which was reviewed by View From The Wing, that they haven’t been officially been informed that this is even under consideration, and “what I know is the regulators that would actually be talking to us about this aren’t talking to us about it.”
As of right now this rumor is the right word for it, and one that doesn’t seem to have any basis in reality based on the people we talk to on a regular basis, who would be talking to us if they planned to do it.
There’s concern about new variants of the virus that spread faster and could cause re-infection, although data remains limited on who may get re-infected or the extent to which re-infection is likely to lead to severe cases of Covid-19. That’s about the only plausible justification for limits on international travel, although restrictions have too many holes to be effective.
Domestic travel restrictions could help if the country were in a position to contain, rather than just mitigate, the virus. However placing restrictions on air travel alone would be insufficient to accomplish this.