NEW YORK — Starting Monday, Nov. 8, vaccinated tourists from other countries will once again be able to travel to the United States for the first time since the pandemic began.
Bringing back that international tourism is the last big component for New York City’s reopening, but those incoming travelers could be carrying COVID and not even know it.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has set up a new COVID testing pilot program with XpresCheck at Kennedy Airport in Queens and Newark Airport in New Jersey, as well as in San Francisco.
The program uses a technique called “pooled testing” or “pod testing,” instead of a single diagnostic test for each individual.
A quick, shallow swab will be taken by XpresCheck from each traveler in groups of up to 20 or so people, with one test run for the whole group, to quickly tell if COVID is present.
The groups will then be advised if they’re safe, or at risk and should get their own individual test.
The initial pilot is voluntary for passengers, but they will be encouraged to participate, as the more information that’s collected, the more officials will know about COVID possibly entering the U.S.
PIX11’s Katie Corrado went to JFK to learn all about how the program will work.