I can't believe government health officials would allow people to fly here from around the globe without having to prove they've tested negative for COVID-19 or can provide documentation that they've recovered from the pathogen. The compacted, confined space on an airplane is a perfect environment for the novel coronavirus to spread.

Soon, anyone flying to the United States from a foreign country must test negative for the coronavirus before boarding their flight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With all the news focused on other issues, this probably has not been mentioned much.

But why did it take so long for the CDC to arrive at this logical decision? This question matters because COVID cases are surging in the U.S., and new, more contagious variants are emerging in other countries. Obviously, pre-flight testing will help slow the spread of the virus.

The new policy, which takes effect Jan. 26, expands on an order that was implemented about a month ago that required negative tests from travelers from the U.K. Before departure to the United States, air passengers will be required to obtain a viral test to search for any infection within three days of departure, and they must provide the airline with paper or electronic documentation of their lab results. The alternative is travelers can show documentation that they've recovered from COVID-19.

I suppose there are some people who'll say better late than never with completing this policy, but I say better safe than sorry for not demanding negative tests from everyone flying into the country before now.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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