I tend to agree that the requirement will suppress travel to Intl destinations, and people's travelling decisions will be influenced by experiences shared by others close to them (good or bad). I do think frequent travelers may get dissuaded more due to the inconvenience of the process that you outline versus someone who hasn't been on vacation in over a year. Most of the people I know were going to make the trip happen no matter what since they have full PTO banks and haven't left AZ since before March 2020.
Fair enough. Although I assume in the case of those folks they would make it a longer trip - in which case the complexity of arrival, departure, and testing is a smaller portion of the overall trip.
As far as the Thursday-Sunday testing that would have worked for you since Sunday is the 3rd day (note that the CDC requirement is 3 days not 72 hours). To your next point regarding delays and such, there is a provision in the CDC guidance that extends the eligibility of the qualifying test another 24-48 hours depending on the circumstance (how well it works in practice is probably another matter though), and wouldn't address the Canadian example you brought up.
Yes, you are right, in theory. The "three calendar days preceding your flight departure" - it is somewhat ambiguous. The CDC example says that a test on Tuesday is fine for a flight on Friday (i.e., the three calendar days are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and then "Friday" is the day upon which the three prior days are calculated). But go read - for example - the Delta definition of the requirements. It says that you must have taken the test within three days of departure
. That is a very different statement than "within the three calendar days prior to departure."
Similarly, the CDC guidance says "If the initial departing flight in your trip is delayed before departure, you will need to get re-tested if the delay causes your test to fall outside of the 3-day pre-departure testing period by more than 24 hours." What does that mean, exactly? Why the mix of calendar days and then 24 hours? I assume that is intentional. They do not say "you get an extra calendar day." They say, "if it exceeds the window by 24 hours". That - to me - means the change of day. In other words, a test on Tuesday is no longer valid on Saturday in any circumstances. Delta's guidance here is technically ambiguous (because it refers back to the CDC order) but they say "The CDC order requires that customers whose test has been taken outside of the 3 days before departure requirement must be re-tested and obtain a negative result prior to departure to the U.S." This implies that falling outside the window at all will result in a required re-test.
If I'm flying Delta, and my docs are getting checked by an agent who probably took a 30 minute virtual training on this topic - do I have any legs to stand on if they disagree with any interpretation of the CDC guidance relative to Delta's interpretation? Probably not. Again, stress and confusion. Maybe
a test I took in the US on Thursday would be accepted by Delta for a flight on Sunday. But it's not abundantly clear. And Delta is one of the better airlines providing guidance. If I look at Spirit, there is no clarification on the delay situation. They do at least clearly cite the CDC example for three calendar days prior which reduces ambiguity relative to Delta's guidance. Now, you could argue that Delta is being conservative to avoid someone making a bad decision, but again, they are the ones letting me on the flight - not the CDC. So I have to assume
the worst case based on Delta's guidance.
I think the most important thing is for policies like these in terms of travel recovery is consistency and clarity. It is confusing at first but once people/airlines/resorts are clear on the policies then people are more comfortable leaving the country, but that is all sacrificed if policies are changing all the time. A good example of this would be Hawaii within the first few weeks having unclear procedures, changing requirements and islands opting out, though most of that has been sorted out over the following months (Kauai being the exception).
I agree with this, but it's also why I cancelled a trip the first week of February and moved it to the end of February. I had assumed that the kinks would mostly be sorted out. It seems to me that they haven't been fully sorted yet.