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CDC distributing free COVID-19 tests at several major airports

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A COVID-19 test center operates inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport on Dec. 1, 2021, in Los Angeles.

A COVID-19 test center operates inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport on Dec. 1, 2021, in Los Angeles. The CDC now has started distributing free COVID-19 home test kits to international travelers arriving at airports in America. (Mario Tama/Getty Images/TNS)

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it has started distributing free COVID-19 home test kits to international travelers arriving at airports in America.

According to Reuters.com, CDC officials said they began handing out the coronavirus tests last week (on Dec. 15) at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, Miami International Airport and Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

The government agency said it plans to add the free tests to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and four additional unidentified international airports in the coming weeks.

While the CDC does not require international travelers arriving in the U.S. to get a new COVID-19 test upon arrival, the agency strongly recommends it. Current federal law says that passengers arriving in American must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within one day of travel.

U.S. President Joe Biden and White House officials said the tighter testing timeline “provides an added degree of public health protection as scientists continue to assess the omicron variant.”

Biden also enacted a travel ban in November on all foreign nationals from entering the U.S. from eight southern African countries over fears of the spread of the omicron variant.

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