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New COVID testing rules for international air travel start: What you need to know

  • December 07, 2021

shortening the testing window all international air travelers have to take a pre-departure coronavirus test from three days to one. Previously, only unvaccinated travelers had to take a test no more than one day before travel. 

The reduced timeframe aims to “provide less opportunity to develop infection with the omicron variant prior to arrival in the United States,” according to the updated CDC order

U.S. airlines have been asked to collect contact-tracing information for inbound international travelers and send it to the CDC “upon request” since Nov. 8, when the country adopted a new set of international travel restrictions. 

The information collected includes names, addresses, phone numbers, emails and dates of birth.  

Here’s what international travelers should know about the new testing requirements: 

Tighter travel rules, free at-home tests and boosters

When do the new rules go into effect?

The new rules went into effect Monday and affect all air passengers 2 years and older flying into the U.S. from a foreign county, regardless of vaccination status or nationality. Travelers who can show proof that they have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days are exempt.  

► Travel updates:CDC orders airlines to share information on passengers from 8 countries, shortens testing window

What sort of test can I take to fly into the US? 

Travelers must take a viral test, which includes antigen tests and nucleic acid amplification tests such as:

  • reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests
  • reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) tests
  • transcription-mediated amplification (TMA) tests
  • nicking enzyme amplification reaction (NEAR) tests
  • helicase-dependent amplification (HDA) tests.

Tests must be authorized for use in the country it was administered, according to the CDC.

a telehealth proctor and meet other qualifications laid out by the CDC.

For those who want to find out more about their testing options, airline websites can be a useful tool. Many international carriers offer information on testing requirements and where to find testing centers overseas. 

► Free at-home COVID tests:Here’s what travelers should know

Why is the order one day and not 24 hours?

The one-day period offers more flexibility than a 24-hour time limit and allows travelers to take a test any time the day before departure. For example, travelers with a 5 p.m. flight on a Friday can board with a negative test taken at 8 a.m. on Thursday.  

Do I need to take another test after arrival?

The CDC recommends all inbound air passengers get another viral test three to five days after arrival, and says unvaccinated travelers should quarantine for seven days after travel.

extended through March 18. 

Travelers who refuse to wear masks may face fines ranging from a minimum of $500 to $3,000 for repeat offenders, although the mandate does carve out exemptions for travelers under the age of 2 and people with certain disabilities.

► Federal mask mandate to be extended:Be prepared to mask up on planes through mid-March

 Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz

Article source: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~/674253794/0/usatodaycomtravel-topstories~New-COVID-testing-rules-for-international-air-travel-start-What-you-need-to-know/

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