Travel Alert – Detailed Information on COVID-19 Test Requirements for International Arrivals to U.S. (27 January 2021)
Event: On January 26, the CDC Order on pre-flight COVID-19 testing for all international travelers to the United States went into effect.
All airline passengers to the United States ages two and older must provide either a negative COVID-19 viral test (NAAT or antigen) 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.
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 or Consulate at MaputoConsular@state.gov and provide the information below. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate will then submit the request to the CDC for consideration.
The following information must be provided for each passenger:
- Name (family name/surname, given name), passport number and country
- Cell phone number including country code of passenger or head of household if family unit
- Email address of passenger or head of household if family unit
- U.S. destination address
- Is U.S. destination home address?
- Departure date
- Flight itinerary
- Name of submitting entity if different from passenger
- Name of company submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
- Name of point of contact submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
- Phone and email address for POC submitting waiver request on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
- 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))
- Justification for testing waiver (e.g. no testing available, impact on health and safety)
- Documentation to support justification for test waiver, if available (e.g. medical records or orders for medical evacuation)
Actions to Take:
- CDC and the Department of State recommend U.S. citizens reconsider non-essential travel abroad. Citizens may experience difficulty obtaining a test abroad, test COVID positive and be subject to country quarantine requirements, and/or have difficulty financing medical treatment while traveling.
- 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.
- 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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