New US COVID test requirement surprises travellers

December 07, 2021
Travellers head to a COVID-19 testing site at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.
Travellers head to a COVID-19 testing site at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

Some travellers who were heading for the US were left scrambling at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston yesterday as they were unaware of that country's new COVID testing requirements.

Effective yesterday, the US requests that all air passengers ages two years or older boarding a flight from a foreign country must present a negative COVID-19 test a day before they travel.

Kim said that she was made aware of the latest policy when she stood at the check-in counter, preparing for her 12-year-old daughter's 1 p.m. flight. Her face told the tale of confusion and anger, as she related to the newspaper that this was unexpected expense.

"I just found out when I was checking in. Why they didn't send out an email or some correspondence with the airline? We had to come to the airport to find it out. Now she has to miss her flight because we found out too late. I had a test done like two days ago and now to come here to find this out, this morning. It is just madness," Kim said.

Another traveller who gave his name as Mark, agreed that the latest travel policy has caught people off guard.

"A lot of persons coming here today would have never known. I am just now knowing about it and imagine if I had an early flight, I would be so upset about it. This is going to cost extra money which they don't have and that is not fair to persons," the American resident shared.

The latest travel policy is part of the US government's efforts to limit the spread of the Omicron variant, which has been detected in the country recently, in at least 17 states.

Other News Stories