CDC issues requirement for a negative COVID-19 test for travelers entering the U.S.

Jan. 13, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is requiring all air passengers to have proof of a negative test result before entering the United States, according to a press release.

“Variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to emerge in countries around the world, and there is evidence of increased transmissibility of some of these variants. With the U.S. already in surge status, the testing requirement for air passengers will help slow the spread of the virus as we work to vaccinate the American public,” the CDC said.

Air passengers are required to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within 3 days before their flight to the United States departs and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) 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 documentation of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger, the CDC said.

The order will become effective on January 26, 2021, the CDC said.

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