February 27, 2021


Just Do Travel

CDC Will Require Travelers To Test Negative For Coronavirus Before Flying Into U.S. From Abroad

2 min read


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an order Tuesday requiring passengers embarking on international flights to the U.S. to show a negative coronavirus test before being permitted to travel into the country in a bid to slow the spread of the pandemic.

Key Facts

Effective Jan. 26, all air passengers will be required to take a viral test within three days before their flight to the U.S. departs and must provide the airline either documentation of a negative laboratory test result or proof that they have recovered from a coronavirus infection.

Airlines must deny boarding if passengers do not provide proof of a negative test, documentation of recovery or refuse to take a test, the CDC said.

“With the US already in surge status, the testing requirement for air passengers will help slow the spread of the virus as we work to vaccinate the American public,” the CDC said in a statement Tuesday.

The order expands on a CDC directive last month that requires passengers traveling from the U.K. to the U.S. to show a negative coronavirus test result before traveling, after the U.K. saw a surge of new infections fueled by a more contagious strain of the virus.

Crucial Quote

“Testing does not eliminate all risk,” CDC Director Robert R. Redfield said in a statement Tuesday. “But when combined with a period of staying at home and everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer, healthier, and more responsible by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at destinations.”

Key Background

In late December, the Canadian government announced all air passengers would be required to test negative for coronavirus before traveling to Canada from another country, with an exception for children under the age of five. In August, the United Nations projected the international tourism industry could see $1 trillion in losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, along with 100 million jobs lost. The U.S. is dealing with the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak. A Johns Hopkins University tracker states the U.S. has counted more than 22.7 million confirmed infections since the beginning of the pandemic, along with 378,457 deaths. Americans are still banned from traveling to many countries across the world, particularly those in Europe.

Further Reading

U.S. Expected to Require Covid-19 Tests for All International Visitors (Wall Street Journal)

Tourism Industry Faces $1 Trillion Loss, 100 Million Jobs At Risk From Covid-19, UN Reports (Forbes)