With the tourism industry in Florida and around the world ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, travel companies are desperate to get back to some semblance of normalcy.
According to many airports and airlines, the best way they see to get travelers back into the air — and, thereby, back into popular tourist destinations like Disney World in Orlando, FL — is to require COVID-19 testing for all passengers prior to boarding.
According to a recent article by Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV 9:
…officials at Orlando International Airport say making that happen- with a standard testing system across the entire world, or even just the United States- won’t be easy…
“We’re in a lot of discussions with airlines and others as to what the appropriate way to test…what the appropriate test is,” OIA CEO Phil Brown said…
“And I think it has to be a federal system in order to have uniformity throughout at least the United States,” Brown says.
Since different states, and even different counties, throughout the United States have jurisdiction over coronavirus protocols and restrictions, there is currently no federal COVID-19 testing mandate for airline passengers.
As per WFTV’s report, it is worth noting that, “Tampa International Airport has started offering tests to all travelers, but they’re not mandatory.” By simply offering these tests, however, Tampa’s airport officials have taken a step toward all passengers obtaining the “all-clear” to board prior to departure.
Two days ago, The International Chamber of Commerce also called for pre-flight testing in order to boost global tourism. Aviation Pros reports:
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is leading the call to re-start global travel and tourism in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Key to that is regaining passenger trust, with pre-departure COVID-19 testing the way to do it, the organization said.
“In aviation, it has to be about pre-departure testing,” said John Denton, ICC secretary general. “If we can do that, then we can remove what is the greatest barrier to opening up travel and tourism, which is the quarantine system.”
The article continued with these details about striving to assure travelers of coronavirus-free flight options:
The goal is to have flights that are 100 percent certifiably COVID-19 free, giving passengers and the nations they travel to the ease of mind that there is no infection risk onboard.
At this time, no major U.S. airlines — such as Southwest Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, or American Airlines — are requiring passengers to present negative coronavirus tests before boarding. These mandates could, however, be coming in the future as travel continues to increase.
The TSA offers details about traveling in the coronavirus era on their official website. Check it out if you have plans to visit Disney World soon.
If you live outside of the Orlando area, would you be willing to take a mandatory COVID-19 test before flying to Walt Disney World Resort? Tell us your thoughts on airport COVID testing and having to present a negative test in the comments!