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Health Alert – Negative COVID-19 Test Required for Travelers to the U.S. 
7 MINUTE READ
January 29, 2021

Location: Worldwide – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director has signed an order requiring all airline passengers traveling to the United States, including U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test or recovery from COVID-19.

Event:  Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide either a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel or provide a positive test result and documentation from a licensed health care provider or public health official of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.  Passengers must also attest, under penalty of law, to having received a negative qualifying test result or to recovery from COVID-19 and medical clearance to travel.

See the CDC Proof of Negative Test Result page to view the order, complete the attestation, and to see FAQ’s.

Airlines must deny boarding to passengers who do not meet these requirements.

Waivers to the testing requirement may be granted by the CDC on an extremely limited basis when extraordinary emergency travel (like an emergency medical evacuation) must occur to preserve someone’s health and safety, and testing cannot be completed before travel.  There are no waivers available for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.  Individuals – or air carriers seeking to allow boarding by potentially qualifying individuals – who believe they meet the criteria for a waiver should contact the U.S. Embassy at consularlapazacs@state.gov, and provide the information below.  The U.S. Embassy will then submit the request to the CDC for consideration.

The following information must be provided for each passenger:

  1. Name (family name/surname, given name), passport number and country
  2. Cell phone number including country code of passenger or head of household if family unit
  3. Email address of passenger or head of household if family unit
  4. U.S. destination address
    1. Is U.S. destination home address?
  5. Departure date
  6. Flight itinerary
  7. Name of submitting entity if different from passenger
  8. Name of company submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
  9. Name of point of contact submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
  10. Phone and email address for POC submitting waiver request on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
  11. Purpose of travel to the U.S. (provide brief explanation of why urgent travel is needed and how travel will contribute to health and safety of passengers(s))
  12. Justification for testing waiver (e.g. no testing available, impact on health and safety)
  13. Documentation to support justification for test waiver, if available (e.g. medical records or orders for medical evacuation).

Actions to Take:     

  • Monitor the CDC website for latest guidance regarding testing requirements.
  • Check with your air carriers or travel representative prior to departure for the United States.
  • Check COVID-19 Country Specific Information updated information on COVID-19 related information including availability of testing.
  • Visit travel.state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security.
  • Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
  • Click here for our COVID FAQs Search Tool.

Assistance:  
State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444
Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts
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