Jacksonville travelers react to lifting of negative COVID-19 test to enter United States

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — There are big changes for those flying into the United States: the Biden administration has dropped the requirement of a negative COVID-19 test for incoming international travelers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the pandemic has shifted into a “new phase,” thanks to widespread vaccinations.

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“I think it’s great for travelers, I think more people will be traveling, so that’s great, except it is kind of dangerous because people are still getting COVID — a lot of people are, it’s a Catch-22,” Carol Foster said.

While she feels safe flying, she does say the government shouldn’t have dropped the negative test requirement so soon.

In the meantime, she’s relying on the vaccine and her immune system while traveling.

“I’ve had two vaccines; I’ve gotten everything under the sun,” she added.

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Charnae Davis spoke to us after a whole day of flying. Davis is “neutral” about the change.

“It’s a little, ‘eh’, because you see the cases are kind of surging up and you can see people are kind of getting sick and you’re hearing them cough, sneeze like crazy now, so it’s kind of iffy like you kind of want to keep it,” Davis said.

Davis still feels safe traveling, though, and feels the airlines are doing enough to keep COVID-19 at bay.

“They still keep it clean, they still give you wipes to clean, if you need a mask, if you feel comfortable or you feel uncomfortable wearing a mask, they’ve got it for you still, they’ve still got measures to take to be clean,” Davis added.

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Riley Donahoe doesn’t think the requirement was necessarily a bad thing, but he’s happy it’s been lifted.

“I think it’s everybody’s own decision if they want to get tested when they’re traveling or if they want to wear a mask, I think that’s up to people to decide for themselves,” he said.

Like Foster, Donahoe says he thinks lifting the requirement will be good for travel.

“I think this will definitely help boost travel with flying places,” he added.

The CDC says it’s continuing to track the pandemic and will reassess the need for another testing requirement if things change.

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