Travel Agents Push for Change in International COVID-19 Testing Policy – NBC Connecticut

You can enter the United States from Mexico or Canada without proof of a negative COVID-19 test, but you cannot enter the states without it.

Travel agents in Connecticut and across the country say it’s an ordinance that needs to be changed.

“No other countries require this testing. Other countries have realized that this will not change the spread of the infection and it is not required to leave the country,” said Amanda Klimak, president and co-owner of Largay Travel in Waterbury.

Klimak is also a member of the American Society of Travel Consultants.

Later this month, she will be working with fellow agents to lobby for change on Capitol Hill.

“This is probably one of the most absurd and irrational pieces of legislation I have ever seen in my time,” said Paul Largay, CEO of Largay Travel, whose family business spans three generations.

Not only did Largay hear about his clients being quarantined abroad, he was on the same boat himself after disembarking from a river cruise in Lisbon, Portugal.

“And the doctor told me that I should be quarantined for seven days. The concierge corrected him and said, “No, no, they changed it to five,” he said. “The biggest disappointment we have is that no one really knows the rules, including doctors.”

Not only is this confusion and stress in foreign countries due to US policy, local agents say it is also affecting business and forcing people to rethink their travels.

Agents here in Connecticut have heard of people falsifying medical reports or even flying to Canada or Mexico and crossing the border to avoid being stuck overseas, since entry into the US doesn’t require a test like flying does.

“When you return to the country, no one in the US checks the results of these tests, it all depends on people abroad when you check in for a flight,” Klimak said.

Not only Largay Travel tells us that the decree is ineffective.

French’s World Travel says it’s a nightmare.

And even travel agent Wethersfield and her family are stuck in Aruba after her daughter tested positive mid-trip.

NBC Connecticut contacted the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the order.

“For the time being, our recommendations for international travel remain the same. The CDC is evaluating all guidance and orders based on the latest science and the state of the pandemic, and we will communicate any updates publicly if and/or when they change,” a CDC spokesperson said.

“The fact that they have reduced the mandatory use of masks on domestic flights and still continue testing just doesn’t make sense. I don’t know why a flight from New York to Los Angeles doesn’t require testing, but if you somehow fly from Paris to New York, that’s a higher risk,” Klimak said.

NBC Connecticut agents have heard that the need for quarantine is costing travelers thousands of dollars to extend their…


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