New CDC Guidelines for International Travel Effective Jan. 26, 2021
Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that starting on January 26, all travelers flying to the United States, including U.S. citizens, will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
Here’s what you need to know about the new order from the CDC:
- Types of Travelers Impacted: All air passengers, two (2) years of age or older, traveling into or connecting through the U.S., including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.
- Timeline: Test must be taken no more than three (3) days before departing from the initial departure point. The requirement goes into effect on Jan. 26, 2021.
- Test type: Test can be taken at most three (3) days before initial departure point and can be a nucleic acid amplification test (e.g., PCR test) or viral antigen test that has been approved by local health authorities. Antibody tests will not be accepted. Passengers who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days and have since recovered may bring a copy of their positive test result and a letter from a licensed health provider or public health official, stating that they have been cleared for travel.
- Process: A verifiable laboratory test result must be presented before boarding, in the form of written documentation (paper or electronic copy), as well as a signed attestation form collected by the airline is required by the CDC.
- Connecting Flights: A test must be taken in the three (3) days before the first flight in your itinerary, but only if connecting flights were booked as a single trip with a final destination in the U.S., and each connection is less than 24 hours. If a connecting flight to the U.S. was booked separately or a connection in your itinerary lasts longer than 24 hours, you will need to get tested within three (3) days of your last flight. If connecting through the U.S. to another country, a test will still be required before departure with the same time requirements.
- Vaccine Status: All air passengers traveling to the U.S., regardless of vaccination status, are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery.
The most up to date information can always be accessed on the CDC website: