WASHINGTON, DC — A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remind all travellers that beginning today, January 26, all air passengers two-years-of-age or older arriving to the United States must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding. This order applies to both foreign nationals and U.S. citizens.
For more information about the testing requirement, visit: Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States | CDC.
U.S. citizens should reconsider non-essential travel abroad. Those that must travel abroad following the implementation of this order should carefully consider the following:
• You could have difficulty accessing a test. Testing availability and turnaround times vary widely around the world. Check the U.S. Embassy website for your planned destination(s) for information about testing options. What plan do you have to ensure you can get a test that meets the requirement in order to come home on time?
• You could test positive and have to stay abroad. Many individuals infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 are asymptomatic and unaware they carry the virus. If you test positive, you will not be able to return home as planned. What plan do you have in case you cannot come home for several weeks? Where will you stay? How will you finance your stay?
• You could have difficulty accessing or financing medical care. Travelers should be aware that the availability and quality of healthcare varies around the world, and that private health insurance may not cover expenses incurred abroad. Will your health insurance cover your hospitalization or other medical expenses abroad? Do you have travel insurance that covers medical evacuation to the United States, and does it include COVID-19 as a covered item?
1. The Department and the CDC continue to strongly recommend U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad, and postpone all non-essential travel. If you must travel overseas, you should review the entire State Department Travel Advisory for your destination(s) on travel.state.gov and enrol in the Smart Traveller Enrolment Program (http://STEP.state.gov) to receive important updates from the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
You should obtain travel insurance that will cover medical evacuation, including for COVID-19, to the United States, in the event you become seriously ill. We also urge those contemplating travel abroad to review CDC’s country-specific travel recommendations and their overall guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic, available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. U.S. citizens abroad should also closely monitor guidance from local public health and immigration authorities at their location.