Since last year, there’s one part of it that many travelers haven’t enjoyed: getting a COVID test. It was a measure taken to help stop the spread of COVID and help keep everyone safe. Flyers entering the US from abroad have been required to show a negative COVID test before boarding their flight. However, as of June 10, 2022, that has changed. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that you will no longer need to show a negative test or documentation of recovery in order to regain entry back to the U.S. Here’s what that means for travelers.
Does the new travel rule for international travelers mean that you don’t need to take a test before your trip?
The CDC states you are no longer required but they do recommend that you get tested before you come back to the U.S. You should do so no more than 3 days before you depart.
How long does the CDC’s new travel rule last?
The CDC will reevaluate this decision after 90 days. That’s because given the nature of COVID-19, cases may spike again. There may be other variants that could be difficult to control. Evaluating it again allows the CDC to make the best decision possible based on the data.
What is the CDC’s recommendation on wearing masks for travelers?
While you don’t need to get tested before your flight, the CDC still recommends that everyone ages 2 and older should wear a well-fitting mask or respirator in indoor transportation settings especially in areas that are crowded such as airport jetways.
What do you need to do before you leave the U.S.?
- Make sure you are up-to-date with your COVID vaccines
- Check requirements for your destination, transportation operators (airlines, cruise lines, buses. You want to find out what they policies are in regards to mask wearing, proof of vaccination, testing, or quarantine. Their requirements may not be the same as the U.S. requirements.
- Those with a medical condition or are taking medication that weakens your immune system, are recommended to take extra precaution by speaking with their healthcare provider before travel even if you are up to date on your vaccines.
- The CDC recommends getting a COVID test still before you travel. It should be as close to your travel date as possible but no more than 3 days prior to your trip.
What if I test positive before I leave the U.S.?
The CDC advises that you do not travel until a full 10 days after your symptoms started or the date your positive test was taken if you had no symptoms.
What happens if I choose to do a COVID test at my destination and it shows that I’m positive?
The CDC states that you will need to isolate and postpone your return until it’s safe for you to travel. Anyone you traveled with may need to quarantine.
What if you had close contact with someone who has COVID before your trip?
You should get a COVID test at least 5 days after your last close contact. Ensure your test result is negative and you have no symptoms before going on your trip. If you don’t get tested, avoid travel until a full 10 days after your last close contact with a person with COVID-19.
What if you have to travel during the 10 days after you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are recommended to quarantine?
Do not travel until a full 5 days after your last close contact with the person with COVID-19. The CDC recommends that you avoid travel for a full 10 days after your last exposure.
What if you have your travel dates fall between 6 to 10 days after you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and you are recommended to quarantine?
If your travel date falls between 6 to 10 days after you were exposed, the CDC also says that you should get tested at least 5 days after your last close contact. Make sure your test result is negative and you have no symptoms before you depart. If you don’t get tested, avoid travel until a full 10 days after your last close contact with a person with COVID-19. You should properly wear a well-fitting mask when you are around others for the entire duration of travel during days 6 through 10. If you can’t wear one, you should not travel during days 6 through 10.
What if you had a close contact with someone with COVID-19 but were not required to quarantine?
You should still get tested at least 5 days after your last close contact. Make sure your test result is negative and you have no symptoms before you depart. If you have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days, you don’t need to get tested, but you should still follow all other recommendations (including getting tested if you develop COVID-19 symptoms). If you travel during the 10 days after your last exposure, properly wear a well-fitting mask when you are around others for the entire duration of travel during the 10 days. If you are unable to wear a mask, you should not travel during the 10 days.
Travel is back but we want everyone to be safe. We encourage you to follow the CDC’s guidelines and make sure to check the rules of your destination as well as any travel operators you will use including your airline, bus, or cruise line.