CDC Modifies COVID-19 Testing Requirements for International Flights

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has marginally relaxed COVID-19 testing conditions for returning to the United States, which is good news for travellers planning an international trip this summer. At-home COVID-19 tests (including rapid tests) will be approved at the border beginning immediately.

If you want to travel internationally, you must be tested no later than three days before flying into the United States of America (US) and present your negative test result to the airline before boarding your flight, or be prepared to provide documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).

COVID-19 tests taken at home must be completed within three days of departure and must meet the following criteria:

  • A SARS-CoV-2 viral test (nucleic acid amplification test [NAAT] or antigen test) with an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration is needed (FDA).
  • The research must be performed in accordance with a telehealth service that will oversee the procedure via video.
  • The telehealth provider must confirm the identity of the test-taker, track the sample collection, and validate the test outcome.

In order for the test results to be accepted, they must contain the following data:

  • Test Methodology (NAAT or antigen)
  • Who was the one to administer the examination?
  • Date of sampling
  • One additional identifier and the test-full taker’s name (such as date of birth or passport number)
  • The outcome of the examination


Individuals that have not been completely vaccinated but have had near interaction with anyone who has COVID-19 (i.e., those who have been exposed to COVID-19) can self-quarantine and not travel before they have met the CDC’s requirements for releasing them from quarantine.
Individuals who have been completely vaccinated or who have evidence of recovery from COVID-19 in the last three months do not need to self-quarantine after being exposed to a person with COVID-19 and can fly unless they have symptoms of COVID-19.

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