Airlines, U.S. Officials Spar With CDC Over International Travel Regulations

U.S. transportation officials and airlines are at odds with public-health officials over whether people who test negative for the coronavirus before they travel should still have to quarantine when they arrive in the U.S., according to people familiar with the matter.

The rift has emerged as U.S. officials have also been looking to strike deals with their foreign counterparts to establish safe-travel corridors between major American and international cities. Reopening international markets and persuading people to fly again are pressing issues both for airlines, which are losing millions of dollars a day, and governments concerned about languishing economies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has insisted that such corridors should still require that arriving passengers quarantine for five days to a week and take another test, according to these people. Industry trade groups, along with senior U.S. transportation officials, have balked at that, they said.

Airlines and industry groups are instead pushing for a system of pre-departure testing and contact tracing. The discussions are ongoing, and officials are looking for a middle ground, according to people familiar with the talks.

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