CDC Updates Travel Requirements for Re-Entry to U.S.

by Colin Joliat

Effective January 26, the CDC is expanding its travel requirements. All air passengers entering the United States will be required to have a negative COVID-19 test. It must be a viral test taken within the 3 days before the passenger’s flight to the U.S., and passengers must provide written documentation of their laboratory test result to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19.

Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before they board. If a passenger does not provide this or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.

CDC Travel Requirements

Here is what we know as of January 15, 2021:

  • All inbound passengers must be tested no more than 3 calendar days before their flight to the US departs. The test must be a viral test.
  • If the passenger has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 3 months they do not need to be tested again but can travel instead with documentation of positive viral test results and a letter from a health care provider stating they have been cleared for travel.
  • Even if you have been vaccinated for Covid-19, you will still need to show proof of a negative test.
  • It is the responsibility of the airlines to confirm a negative test result or documentation of recovery before boarding.

As a trusted brand, AAA is focused on the safety and security of our members and all travelers. Access to testing is a critical component to support the safe return to travel, as is achieving critical mass on vaccinations. AAA encourages the development of widespread testing infrastructure to enable a safe return to travel.

Travel is a very personal decision. For travelers unsure of how to navigate planning and travel requirements today, AAA travel agents are available to assist in making an informed decision to travel safely.

Information accurate as of January 15th, 2021.

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