Skip to content

CDC director says pre-departure COVID-19 testing for domestic travel may reduce transmission

Feb. 09, 2021
3 min read
CDC director says pre-departure COVID-19 testing for domestic travel may reduce transmission
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

During a press briefing on Monday, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Rochelle Walensky said that pre-flight testing prior to domestic flights would help to stop the spread of COVID-19 across the U.S., reports Bloomberg

"The more screening that we're doing in places where people are gathering, I think the more asymptomatic disease we will be detecting," Walensky said.

Sign up to receive the daily TPG newsletter for more travel news!

During the briefing, there was no confirmation as to whether the Biden administration would implement such measures. The idea of pre-flight testing for domestic flights within the U.S. first surfaced in January.

In an interview with The Points Guy last week, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg spoke of the situation regarding pre-departure COVID-19 testing for domestic travel:

“So there’s a conversation underway with the CDC on that. What I can tell you is that the guiding lights of that conversation will be a lot of engagement and dialogue and a lot of attention to evidence and data.”

He told CNN that it's different to pre-testing for international flights, "I'd say the domestic picture is very different, but you know the CDC is always evaluating what can best be done to keep American people safe," Buttigieg said. "I would say that the CDC is looking at all its options."

Related: New Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to TPG: Bold action on travel is underway

In the same interview, Buttigieg explained that as it stands, the Biden administration is not considering requiring flyers to provide proof of vaccination to be able to travel.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

"I think right now the focus, especially at a time when most Americans haven't had a vaccine, haven't had access to vaccine, is to make sure while we're getting those vaccinations out to everybody we possibly can, that we are also maintaining those measures that we also know work, like masks," he said.

During Monday's press briefing, Walensky encouraged Americans to stay at home. Despite a reduction in cases, Walensky warned officials at the state and local level to refrain from relaxing restrictions.

"First and foremost, I would really encourage people to not travel," Walensky said.

The growing fear is that a new U.K.-originating strain may become the dominant strain circulating around the U.S. by the end of March. Cases of the new strain, of which Bloomberg reported there 690 cases on Monday, are being monitored closely.

Since the reports of a testing requirement for domestic travel first surfaced in January, travel industry groups have express opposition to the move.

"Given the strong scientific evidence that the risk of Covid-19 transmission onboard an aircraft is very low, we believe that a testing requirement for domestic air travel is unwarranted," industry group Airlines for America said in a letter to the White House. "Further, public health and economic data indicate that this policy would disproportionately prevent low-income travelers and rural Americans in small communities from travel."

Featured image by AFP via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

Fair/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

    Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees