CDC required negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery from COVID-19 for all flights in the United States


The Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC) has updated its requirements for international travelers flying in the United States. Passengers now have to show a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery from COVID-19 before flight. The order came into effect on January 26, 2021.

These new guidelines apply to any air passenger aged two years or older. This includes anyone traveling in the USA, including USA citizens and legal permanent residents.

Several presidential announcements established restrictions on the entry of some travelers into the US in an effort to help slow the spread of coronovirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Some foreign nationals who have lived in some countries in the past two weeks are still not able to enter the United States. For a complete list of countries, travelers should visit this page on the CDC website.

If you are allowed to travel otherwise, you will have to get a viral test (NAAT or antigen test) three days before your flight exam. Before boarding you will need to show your results documents to the airline. This document can either be a paper or electronic copy of your results. Travelers who have the COVID-19 vaccine will still have to provide a negative test result.

If you have recently recovered from COVID-19, the CDC does not recommend testing again in three months after a positive viral test, unless you have any symptoms. But if you have done a positive viral test in the last three months, you may still be able to travel. If you meet the mentioned criteria and can show proof of your positive viral test results and you have been approved for a visit by your healthcare provider or public health officer, you should be able to fly. The test results and letters are your “documents of recovery”.

Any passengers who fail to provide a positive test result or from recovery documentation will be denied flight.

See the CDC website for more information.

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