Michelle Fishman called it “the worst case scenario you can really imagine.”
After three weeks leave Greece, A 52-year-old hotel art consultant from Miami and her husband underwent pre-departure coronavirus tests required to fly home from abroad. He tested positive, but he didn’t.
Although Coronavirus travel ban In many parts of the world, the United States is still required to submit a negative test to all international air passengers within one day of departure. And according to instructions issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fishman had to be separated and delayed for 10 days, but she said she had to get home before working on the wedding.
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Instead, she took advantage of the dilemma in the rules to go home after five days (the Greek government’s mandatory self-separation period) through the “backdoor” – entering the United States from the ground, which is not necessary. Coronavirus test, Than by the wind. Because Canada does not require a test to enter, the couple first flew to Toronto, and after spending a night there, Fishman and her husband crossed the border to Buffalo, New York, and caught a home flight. (No test required for domestic flight.)
“I had no symptoms, no fever, nothing. I like it, and when you’re in the state, the CDC says you can end the isolation after five days of positive testing, so the same rules should apply when I Traveling“Five days after a positive test in Miami doesn’t mean I can get married, but I can’t go home if I catch the virus while on vacation,” Fishman said. That should be illegal. “
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. Mexico And using land crossings there, because airlines don’t need to provide passengers with reasons to cancel or change flights.
But strong anecdotal evidence suggests that some travelers – and travel advisers – are sharing tips on how to avoid getting stuck.
On the flight to Toronto, Fishman said she was following the instructions of a family friend who used the same back road to get home. Boston When he tested positive in France in April.
Asked if he was concerned about infecting other passengers at home during his long voyage from Greece (he tested positive again, his fifth day), Fishman pointed to the CDC’s guidelines for people catching the virus in the United States, which he says are asymptomatic people. Or people with symptoms that have resolved within a five-day isolation period may leave their home. This recommendation is largely based on science Coronavirus Transmission begins during the course of the disease, the CDC said.
“I slept in the same bed as my husband for five nights and he didn’t realize it, so I don’t think I was contagious when I took the flight home,” Fishman said. “I wore a mask all the time.”
The CDC did not say why there are different policies for Americans testing positive at home and abroad, but a spokesman for the agency reiterated that passengers must follow the 10-day no-fly order before boarding a flight to the United States. They also tested negative. The Department of Homeland Security declined to comment on the possibility of passengers using land borders to circumvent test requirements for air travel.
The United States introduced the test requirement in January 2021, when less than 10% of Americans were vaccinated and the incidence of new infections and hospitalizations reached record levels. Now, with high vaccination rates and less serious cases of the virus, many American travelers, as well as industry representatives, are calling for the need to be eliminated, arguing that it does little to prevent new ones. Variants Of the virus spread in the United States.
“The existence of these solutions highlights the folly of the current inbound testing policy, which is nothing short of ineffective,” said Erica Richter, vice president of communications at the American Society of Travel Advisors, a business organization. “We don’t follow science.”
David Friedman, president-elect of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, is concerned about passengers using the method, warning that infectious people taking flights or public transportation will keep more people crossing the border who are up to date. In their Vaccines At risk, including airport restaurants and other places along the way.
“From a public health perspective, an infected person can carry one of the new variants, a BA. 4th or BA. 5, which is more contagious and not yet common in the United States, “he said.” Fall may have new, sophisticated vaccines, and it may be worse to introduce these variants sooner rather than later. “
After a positive test in Stockholm in early April, an American traveler and his wife decided to return to Seattle via Vancouver, as crossing the US-Canada border was closer to their home. If she needs to take a test when she arrives at Vancouver Airport, she says, she plans to run home and live there separately. The woman asked to speak anonymously because she was afraid of negative consequences.
“We had symptoms for about two weeks before the positive test. We really felt better when we tested positive, there were no symptoms at all, so we felt confident to travel,” she said. “Vancouver Airport is very cold and low-key. If you look healthy, strong and comfortable, no one will take you out of the crowd.”
Upon arrival, Canadian authorities often ask passengers health questions, and some airports, such as Toronto and Vancouver, may randomly select to pick up some passengers. Coronavirus Tests before clearing to leave the airport.
Canadian authorities have warned infected people not to attempt to transit through Canada, saying they will not be allowed to board flights in the country if they show signs of COVID-19 or become infected within 10 days of departure. Before arriving in Canada, travelers must fill out the Health and Travel form on the ArriveCAN app. There are many questions on the form, including the status of the vaccine and whether the passenger has symptoms of coronavirus.
“All passengers arriving in Canada are required by law to answer all questions truthfully,” said Rebecca Purdy, a senior spokeswoman for the Canadian Border Services Agency.
“Travelers who travel to Canada with a deliberately active COVID-19 infection and who do not disclose this information may face fines and / or criminal charges, and foreign nationals may also be denied entry and / or barred from returning to Canada,” Purdy said. .
Mexican authorities did not return requests for comment. American travelers can enter Mexico without a test or QuarantineHowever, they may be subject to a medical examination upon arrival.
Despite the cost of last-minute bookings, backdoor routes are also being used as a prerequisite to ensure that people can travel home on time.
Hillary Aranda, 39, a user experience designer, recently completed a two-week dance tour in Italy when 12 Americans in her group tested positive. To avoid a positive outcome and possible headaches, she canceled her flight to Los Angeles, instead of canceling her flight to Los Angeles, to London and Mexico City to Laos, Mexico, to Tijuana, Mexico. She then crossed the border to her home in San Diego. Changes to her itinerary set her back more than $ 2,000.
“It simply came to our notice then Covid And I was lucky enough to know that if I tested it, it would come back positive and I don’t want to take that risk, “said Aranda, who wears a mask on her flights. We had to go back to the children. “
Some travelers who are more risk-averse, but still determined to avoid isolation in another country, are using telemedicine services like QuickMD to obtain “recovery documents” that allow people to travel to the United States without having to undergo a negative test. This option is available to travelers who continue their positive test 10 days after their initial positive test or symptoms, as it can take weeks or even months before some people test negative.
During a video or phone consultation with a medical professional authorized to grant travel clearance, some passengers have lied about the start date of their symptoms so that they can return home without completing the 10-day separation period.
“It was a three-minute consultation, and I just told the doctor that my symptoms started earlier than usual,” said one passenger, who spoke to the authorities anonymously for fear of getting into trouble. He had tested positive in London a day before his scheduled flight home to New York, he said, but returned home three days later.
“It was very easy for me to get my clearance documents within an hour,” he said.
QuickMD did not respond to requests for comment.
Fishman called her home on time for the wedding and never developed COVID-19 symptoms, although she said she was tired, which she blamed for the stress caused by the test trying to return on time.
“My chances of catching COVID in Miami are as high as catching it when I travel, so the need for testing is useless in my opinion,” she said.
Passengers thinking of such routes should be warned that they can be caught. Purdy of the Canadian Border Services noted that violating the guidelines when entering Canada could result in up to six months in prison, a fine of C 750,000 (approximately $ 586,000) or both.
(This article originally appeared in the New York Times.)
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