Do I Need a Covid-19 Test to Enter the US? Does this policy change the status of travel bans?
On Tuesday January 12th, the CDC announced they would be requiring proof of a negative Covid-19 test to enter the United States. Travelers who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last three months are exempt from proof of a negative test, they will need to supply a physician’s note indicating they have fully recovered. Individuals who have received the Covid-19 vaccine are still required to show proof of a negative test. This new federal policy will go into affect on January 26th 2021.
The New York Times states, “The new policy requires all air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, to get a test for current infection within the three days before their flight to the United States departs, and to provide written documentation of their test results or proof of having recovered from Covid-19.”
“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.” –CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD
It is important to note, this new policy does NOT replace the COVID travel bans that are currently in place. It is simply an extra layer of international travel procedures for anybody who is permitted to travel (US citizens, green card holders, or visa holders with approved waivers). We still do not know what will happen with the travel bans and will need to wait and see how the Biden Administration proceeds.