A Guide to the New Covid-19 Testing Rules for Travel to the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has ordered that every one vacationers flying to the U.S. from overseas can have to show proof of negative Covid-19 tests earlier than boarding their flight beginning Jan. 26. The CDC stated preflight testing is critical as Covid-19 cases continue to soar and new, extra contagious strains of the virus emerge round the world.

Here is what you want to find out about the new protocols earlier than you make a journey.

Who does it have an effect on?

The order applies to everybody touring to the U.S. on worldwide flights, together with U.S. residents. You will want to present detrimental take a look at outcomes even in case you are flying on a personal jet or constitution flight. There are exceptions for kids beneath age 2, airline crews, and federal law-enforcement brokers and members of the army touring for obligation.

What international locations are lined?

All of them. Passengers want to present proof of a detrimental take a look at when touring to the U.S. from any nation, together with Mexico and the Caribbean. Airlines can search non permanent waivers for sure international locations the place testing provides are insufficient, however carriers haven’t but stated which international locations may fall into this class.

The common testing requirement goes into impact Jan. 26. People arriving from the United Kingdom have already got been topic to comparable testing necessities that went into impact in December following the emergence of a new coronavirus strain there.

What form of take a look at will I want, and when? What occurs if I don’t have my outcomes?

U.S.-bound air vacationers should get examined not more than three days earlier than flying and convey written or digital proof of the outcomes. Airlines can settle for each PCR and rapid antigen tests. If you don’t have the documentation with you, airways gained’t permit you to board, in accordance to the CDC’s order.

Airlines are nonetheless figuring out the actual protocols they are going to use to examine take a look at outcomes. Customers coming from the U.Okay. on United Airlines present take a look at leads to the foyer earlier than safety, however the particulars may not be the identical for different international locations, a

United Airlines Holdings Inc.

spokeswoman stated.

What if I’ve been vaccinated?

Even when you’ve got been vaccinated for Covid-19, you continue to will want to present proof of a detrimental take a look at.

What if I not too long ago had Covid-19 and bought higher?

If you may have examined constructive for Covid-19 in the previous three months however not have signs, the CDC doesn’t suggest getting examined once more. If you’re on this group and have met the standards to finish isolation, the CDC says you’ll be able to journey so long as you may have written permission from a health-care supplier or public-health official. Bring your constructive take a look at outcome and the physician’s letter to present the airline in lieu of a detrimental take a look at outcome.

Does this imply the U.S. has lifted bans on most journey from Europe, the U.Okay. and different international locations?

Not at this level. Airlines have been pushing the authorities to drop these bans, particularly now that testing necessities are going into impact. The authorities hasn’t taken any motion on that although, so individuals who aren’t U.S. residents or everlasting residents can’t come to the U.S. from most of Europe, the U.Okay., Brazil, China and Iran. Likewise, many international locations don’t permit vacationers to enter from the U.S., or proceed to impose prolonged quarantine necessities on arrival.

What if I want to change my journey plans now?

Airlines have already got done away with most international change fees and are including extra flexibility for individuals who want to alter their plans and get to the U.S. earlier than the new testing necessities go into impact.

American Airlines Group Inc.


Delta Air Lines Inc.,

for occasion, will permit individuals to rebook worldwide tickets to the U.S. that had been scheduled by way of Feb. 9, so long as new journey begins on or earlier than Jan. 25. That means you’ll be able to rebook to fly earlier than testing is required with out paying increased last-minute fares.

Do I want to get examined once more or quarantine after I get again to the U.S.?

The CDC recommends individuals get a second take a look at three to 5 days after journey and keep residence for seven days (or 10 days and not using a second take a look at). Testing by itself isn’t a substitute for social distancing and sporting face masks, CDC officers stated.

Travel bubbles are beneath growth in some locations in an effort to revive air journey, which has plummeted throughout the pandemic. WSJ explains how reopening the skies with out quarantine necessities at each ends of a visit might assist reboot the world economic system. Illustration: Crystal Tai

Write to Alison Sider at [email protected]

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