US makes COVID-19 test report mandatory for international arrivals

The United States’ Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has issued an order stating that all travellers arriving from foreign countries into the US must show a negative COVID-19 test report, taken within three days of their departure. The order will come into effect from January 26, 2021.

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Alternatively, if the traveller has suffered from COVID-19 in the last three months, they can also show ‘documentation of recovery’—i.e. a positive test report, and “a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that states you have been cleared for travel.” This will also apply to vaccinated individuals. 

NAAT and antigen tests are the only types of viral testing being accepted in this regard. The CDC has not mentioned RT-PCR tests reports as valid for entry.

Airlines will be carrying out the checks for your negative report or recovery documents—if you don’t have the appropriate papers, you will not be allowed to board your plane.

The order applies to all commercial, private, and charter flights. If you are arriving via one or more connecting flights booked as a single record with the US as the final stop, “your test must be done in the 3 days before the first flight in your itinerary,” according to the CDC. 

However, if your connecting flight was booked separately, or a connection lasts longer than 24 hours, you’ll have to get tested within the 3 days before your flight lands in the US.

Got more questions? The CDC has answered common queries on this matter on their website. As always, please check all relevant travel restrictions before booking your tickets. Have a safe journey ahead!

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