International Travelers Must Now Show Evidence of Negative COVD Test to Fly

Starting January 26, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) will require that international travelers to the United States show written proof of a negative test for COVID-19 conducted within three calendar days of travel for admission into the country. Those who have already had the virus need to show written evidence of recovery. The new regulations announced January 12 are intended to slow the arrival of newer variants of COVID-19 that have proven to be particularly contagious. According to Dr. Robert R. Redfield, Director of the CDC, “Testing does not eliminate all risk, but when combined with a period of staying at home and everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer, healthier, and more responsible by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at destinations.”

This rule will remain in effect until the Secretary of Health and Human Services declares that COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency, the CDC Director rescinds this rule, or December 31, 2021. 

Even before this rule, we have advised clients that even if they are technically able to travel despite the presidential proclamations of 2020, they need to be aware that COVID-19-related travel restrictions can be implemented quickly and with no notice. This is an example of that. For the foreseeable future, international travel will be unpredictable, and everybody considering such travel needs to take that into account, regardless of status. The change creates another hurdle for international travel, and our clients need to take that—and the possibility of more restrictive regulations if the situation worsens—into account when planning trips abroad.

Photo by Rob Wilson on Unsplash

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