TSA’s Mandatory 10-Day Smell Testing Program
Travel is the general movement of individuals between various distant geographical locations. Travel can be performed by feet, bike, car, train, plane, bus, boat or another mode, with or without personal luggage, and is one-way or round trip traveling. The classic example of travel is probably the first trip to New York City. At New York City, one can enjoy spectacular sights such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. However, a more modern example of travel can be found in the fast paced world that exists today, where people literally move from one location to another in the blink of an eye.
Today, international travelers often experience the phenomenon of “party city,” where people literally party the night away until dawn, while flying from one airport to another. It has been estimated that more than seven million overnight travelers leave the United States to go to other countries in the form of extended-stay motels, hotels, inns, or even hostels. However, the practice of overnight traveling has begun to decrease because of stricter screening at airports, increased travel restrictions, and the need for travelers to have a valid photo ID when passing through a border crossing. In order to reduce the possibility of having an accident while traveling overnight, the use of self-quarantine centers has been introduced in the United States, which are similar to those used in countries like Australia and Japan.
The term “self quarantine” refers to the procedure in which passengers who have arrived at an airport in a new country, but who have not yet undergone proper quarantine following the completion of their flight have been asked to sign a waiver of responsibility before leaving the airport. Such a waiver requires the traveler to abstain from consuming food, drink, smoke, or touch any object that had come into contact with a carrier of contagious diseases. Furthermore, all travelers must follow the same quarantine rules that apply to passengers arriving at any other airport. This means that they are required to have a clean gown and not share any personal items with anyone except for licensed medical personnel.
If you do decide to drive to another destination after having spent a week in self-quarantine, you may be subject to additional screening at your next point of entry. Before getting on the plane, you should consult a public health officer at the nearest airport so that he or she can advise you on whether or not you will need to stay home to get tested for serious diseases. Most people who go on vacation prefer to remain home, but they should realize that the risk of contracting a deadly disease while on vacation is greater than if they were traveling without the proper precautions. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that they seek out medical attention within ten days of the date of their departure if they plan to stay at home.
If you have already undergone quarantining at the airport, it is best to report to the nearest airport police station. If you are leaving the country, there are customs officers at all airports who will be able to help you. They will ask you to fill out a form that will grant them permission to search your luggage for any missing or uncollected items. The same procedure will apply to travelers who are departing from other countries. These customs officers will also ask you to fill out a form that grants them permission to administer a series of physical examinations and blood tests upon arrival. A copy of this document is needed by officials in America, Canada, Great Britain and Australia to cross-examine travelers who are entering or leaving the country.
The purpose of these tests is to determine if a traveler has been exposed to a deadly or contagious disease. However, these tests will not rule out normal symptoms such as the flu or cold. If a traveler develops a cough or sore throat after coming into contact with a person who has had a recent flu outbreak, that person should not be assumed to have contracted the flu unless medical treatment is administered. On the other hand, if a traveler develops a sore or cough that does not improve over a ten-day period, that person can be assumed to have a mild case of the flu and be infectious if exposed to others. If travelers do develop symptoms after coming into contact with someone who has a known case of the flu, they should report it immediately so that they can receive treatment before traveling on to another destination. For those passengers who fail to show up for their scheduled trip, their options include: waiting a minimum of two full business days to rebook; exchanging the ticket for another flight; contacting a trusted friend or companion who will travel with them; or reporting to local law enforcement authorities.