The US government just dropped the pre-departure COVID-19 test requirement, so you can now fly to the United States without taking any COVID-19 test!
Here is what you need to know!
US Drops Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test Requirement!
17 months ago, the US CDC issued an order requiring all travellers to present a negative COVID-19 test before they can fly to the United States, or present documentation of recovery from COVID-19.
US CDC Director Rochelle Walensky just rescinded that order for all aircraft departing their point of origin on or after Sunday, June 12, 2022, at 12:01 AM EDT (Eastern Daylight Time).
I have concluded that continuation of the Order is not currently necessary. There being no operation need to delay implementation of this rescission for more than a short period of time, it shall take effect for all aircraft departing from their point of origin on or after Sunday, June 12, 2022, at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
That said, the US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becerra, said that this decision is based on “science and available data”, and warned that it may be reinstated if things change :
The CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 testing prior to air travel of any kind and will not hesitate to reinstate a pre-departure testing requirement, if needed later. Ensuring the safety and well-being of Americans is a top priority.
Current COVID-19 Requirements Before You Fly To US
This order restores travel requirements to what it was before the pandemic – you will no longer be required to undergo a COVID-19 test, or show proof of COVID-19 recovery, before you fly to the United States.
However, the CDC still recommends that travellers get tested before and after travel, or after known exposure to someone with COVID-19.
They also recommend that travellers “remain up to date with vaccination against COVID-19“, and “wear masks in indoor public transportation settings“.
However, airlines may impose their own requirements, so please make sure you check with your airlines too!
American Citizens / Permanent Residents
The CDC recommendation to be up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination is no longer mandatory for American citizens.
For foreign travellers, you can fly to the United States without a negative COVID-19 test.
However, the CDC still requires foreigners to be fully-vaccinated before they can fly to the United States. A booster dose is not required.
Only selected foreigners may receive an exemption to this CDC requirement :
- Persons on diplomatic or official foreign government travel
- Children under 18 years of age
- Persons with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine
- Participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials
- Persons issued a humanitarian or emergency exception
- Persons with valid visas [excluding B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visas] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability (See list for updates that will be effective June 28, 2022)
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses or children (under 18 years of age)
- Sea crew members traveling with to a C-1 and D nonimmigrant visa
- Persons whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, or Secretary of Homeland Security (or their designees)
But note that if you qualify for the exemption, you may be required to :
- get tested for COVID-19 within 3-5 days of arrival in the United States, and
- self-quarantine for 5 days, even if you test negative in the post-arrival test (unless you have documentation of recovering from COVID-19 in the past 90 days), and
- self-isolate if you test positive in the post-arrival test, or develop COVID-19 symptoms
- get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you intend to stay in the United States for longer than 60 days
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