[More Details Added] The US Will Require Negative COVID-19 Test Results Or Documentation Of Recent Recovery To Return From Abroad

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Update: The CDC confirms that as of 1/26, a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of recovery from COVID-19 will be required for all passengers 2 years or older.

The COVID-19 rapid antigen or PCR/nucleic acid test must have been performed within the 3 days before all flights from abroad to the US. If you test positive while abroad you must self-isolate until you have recovered and been cleared by a Doctor to travel or until you test negative.

Proof of recovery must consist of a positive COVID-19 test result from within the 3 months before the flight, as well as a Doctor’s letter that you have been cleared to travel.

Airlines will have to confirm the written negative test result or proof of recovery before boarding passengers. Passengers flying on private or charter flights will also have to provide proof of testing.

If you don’t provide negative test results you will be denied boarding.

This order applies even if you have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

More FAQ can be found here.


The Wall Street Journal reports that the US is expected to require negative COVID-19 test results in order to fly to the US starting on 1/26. That will include US citizens and residents returning from abroad as well as foreign nationals.

That comes after Canada recently added negative COVID-19 test results in order to fly into the country.

Airlines have rushed to add flights to destinations like Cancun and Cabo as Americans look for international travel destinations that don’t require taking a pricey expedited COVID-19 PCR.

If a test is required in order to return to the US, that will surely dampen demand for travel abroad. In many places it is nearly impossible to get expedited COVID-19 PCR results.

Other than the regime change, the timing doesn’t make much sense with COVID-19 cases running rampant in the US. I’d rather see these resources spent towards getting all American vaccinated as Israel is set to do in the coming weeks.

Do you have plans to travel abroad once this is expected to go into effect? Will this change your plans?

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118 Comments On "[More Details Added] The US Will Require Negative COVID-19 Test Results Or Documentation Of Recent Recovery To Return From Abroad"

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Jim

Went to Cancun twice last year. Just booked again for May. Hopefully the resort figures out how to test folks there in person. Or maybe the airlines? Flying JetBlue

4yourinfo

What is the point? covid is everywhere…sounds like someone is in denial

Chaim

They are probably scared of the new strain that’s going around, but by 1/26 it won’t matter by then.

Gidon

There is a discrepancy in the article. At the top, it states “negative coronavirus tests for all airline passengers from U.K.”

VL

This was long due

Nikki

Yes why now? Doesn’t make any sense to me.

DEP

Last I heard it’s illegal to keep American citizens out of the country. Even citizens and residents on the no fly list must be allowed to re enter.

aradisc

Upon presentment at a port of entry, yes. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be blocked from boarding an airplane at check-in in a foreign country. Time for COVID denialists to get boats, I guess.

Israeli

Will this include people who’ve been vaccinated?
That’s an important question for flights from TLV…

Nat Zitomer

In bold print: “This order applies even if you have been vaccinated for COVID-19.” Now, THAT makes no sense! Bureaucrats!

iahphx

Being able to more easily travel internationally was one of the main reasons I was going to get vaccinated. If it doesn’t help — and the gov’t is telling me by this rule that it isn’t sure the vax prevents Covid — what’s the point of the shots?

Nat Zitomer

You’re probably not old enough to remember the days that people were crippled and killed by Polio. That ended in the 1950s, after two vaccines were perfected and dispensed universally. The result: Polio no longer exists. So why are you being vaccinated? Firstly and most-importantly–for your continued health, and that of those around you. Secondly–in time–these regulations will be relaxed, and yes–with a green passport or similar, we will again be able to travel freely. Hebrew: Savlanut. English: Patience.

Chaim

Read the article!

Harry

Currently have a flight to Cancun Yeshiva week, considering on moving it to the US Virgin Islands if that January 26th date doesn’t move

Harry

Or Puerto Rico

EP

will PR be ok? is it considered US?

Shirl

Apparently Puerto Rico hotels require negative tests to enter

Harry

Yes to enter but not to leave

Liz

Does any one know the answer to this question… a British citizen living in the U.K., can they currently travel to the states with just a negative PCR or do they require other docs or special permissions?

Mendel London

You can only enter if you are a sibling of a US citizen and under 21, or a child of a US citizen in any age, or with a permit for business travel or any other special ground that the embassy might consider as important reasons for travel.

YDD

Ouch! Planning a trip to Cancun 26-31 hopefully won’t be/get complicated.
Thanks for the heads up!

E

I know of several friends/families going to Cancun for Yeshiva break with their kids. One of them is pediatrician and is performing Covid tests for them in Cancun within 3 days of their return flight to NY. I believe thats what NY state requires for all incoming travelers regardless of where they’re coming from.

YDD

I’m staying at the Ziva. How can I reach this pediatrician if necessary?

Ep

Same question

Ep

Please let me know if there’s any way for me to get in touch with this pediatrician so I can also get tested with my family family

Judah

Hey any way we can also get tested from this pediattrician.? We are also planning on going yeshiva week

Jack

How can I get more info on this?

SK

PCR test requires a lab to process it.

Jack

LOL! People actually follow NY’s rules?

Ariella
Shimmy?

Dan what form do I need to fill out when traveling from NY to the UK ? And where can I get it?

Shimmy

Can anyone plan answer this ? I have a ticket for next week and not sure which form I need ?

Mo
C1sarena

Are you permitted to enter UK!

AJ

If I take a pcr stateside before the trip can that be used to re-enter?

Andy

This is what we’ve always done with animals coming into the country to protect our agriculture industry. It makes sense to extend these requirements to humans as well to protect the population from certain high risks diseases.

YoniPDX

We were flying to Costa Rica on 1.26~2.3.21 🙁

Thankful that we at least have two weeks to pivot and cancel without penalties (have to see what options are with AA web saver – fares).

It would be a nightmare trying to scramble to find testing in CR so we could return, even more hassle if one of us tested positive.

bob

For us Canadians that would mean a a test each way when going to the US.

The lab owners are the real winners.

Esty

Its all abt the .. They are making a killing

Josh

Just booked a one way from lax to tlv in August for 450 (basic economy but still insane price) on delta with one stop…can’t wait to go to israel again!

Ari

Anyone know if travel to/from Puerto Rico will be affected?

A

No but before you enter puerto rico you need a negative covod test 72 hours before thr flight

luckyluck

The CDC page mentions also that a proof of recovery can be used instead of PCR test. Does that mean antibody test?

Pbjclimbing

The order lists that a positive viral test within 3 months must be submitted for proof of recovery. An antibody test is not a viral test so it looks like it won’t count.

Nikki

JUSt cancelled family trip to cancun for jan 23-29c of this. Too hard to know if I could definitely get the test and my insurance wouldn’t cover $600 expense. Go great prices on flights and resort. And yesterday had to cancel my 10th anniversary river cruise for the second time.

Joe Ker

What of we have positive antibody tests

joey

“or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19.”

what does the CDC count for this? antibodies?

Devorah

Does this apply when driving?

MeirS

Send like there may be an alternative.
What would be considered “documentation of recovery”?
Would a positive antibody test count for anything?

Scott

We are planning on going to cancun jan 21-27. Can someone please post how to contact paediatrician who will have Covid tests?

BrooklynDan

The required, acceptable covid-19 test is processed in a properly certified lab. Did the pediatrician arrange that as well?

Cancun Bound

CDC also allows rapid antigen which I dont think needs a lab. It should give you a 30 minute result. My question is if the results need to be in English or Spanish is fine.

Yaakov

I guess the airline industry was doing to well??

Debstep

Ultimately, will proof of having received 2 Covid-19 vaccines be considered adequate? What will be considered ‘proof’ of that?

Nat Zitomer

You will receive an international certificate. I have a local Israeli one following my second shot yesterday; international is expected sometime soon. BUT–In bold print at bottom of OP: “This order applies even if you have been vaccinated for COVID-19.” So, it’s as though nobody cares that we’ve been vaccinated!

Mike

Think they will start doing this from within states? Did anyone recently have to quarantine coming back from FL (coming from NY) ?

Fraidy

I just came back from Florida two days ago to nj no one ever said anything about quarantine

C1sarena

Know someone who was tested from MIA-JFK 2 weeks ago upon return to JFK. She tested pos and the whole flight had to be contact traced

TruthSayer

What resources are being used to put a requirement that selfish people make.sure they don’t have covid before returning to the US? Come now and let’s grow up.

Jud

What’s the point of the vaccine if it can’t even exempt you from this test?

Sam

The point of the vaccine is to protect you. I guess they’re saying the jury is still out if the vaccine works or they’re afraid of the 5% chance you can still get it. I thought as well the green passport being proposed in Israel would exempt us from being tested. I emailed the WSJ because my second shot is scheduled for the 31st and vaccinated citizens are not mentioned in the article. I only saw it posted here that a test is still required.

C1sarena

Green passport has no value outside of israel

Deltahater

What a load of crock

Mark

Would they accept a over the counter rapid COVID test as proof of negative?

John

Kids also have to be tested ?

David-in-Florida

We had hoped to travel to SE Asia in December. Highly likely we won’t go if testing is required to get into either country (Malaysia or USA). We will soon be vaccinated, they should accept vaccinations rather require testing.

Pad18

December 21 !?! My friend a lot could change till then …

joel

at least they accept the rapid tests also, not only the pcr tests…

tzvi

does Hawaii count as part of the USA in this regard and therefore exempt?

chaim

if they truly believed that the vaccines work why would proof of vaccination not be good enough

Jack

Because it’s not about the virus, it never was.

Pbjclimbing

Most vaccines prevent you from getting and transmitting the disease the vaccine is for. Some vaccines like pertussis, prevent you from getting the disease but do not prevent you from transmitting the disease. The research is currently underway to determine where COVID vaccines fall on this threshold. Once it is determined you cannot transmit the disease there likely will be new guidelines issued.

dave

can one obtain a DIY rapid test, take it with you on a trip and do the test before returning? if yes, how would they know how old the test is? and where is a cheap place to get such a test?

jack

So this will apply to any flights landing in the US at 12:01 AM on January 26?

sam

this all sounds crazy!!!!

cg

does a antibody test work

Cancun Bound

Do results need to be in english?

usernamechuck

Luckily, were coming back before this goes into effect. What I don’t understand is, why test for COVID if you’ve already got a vaccine?

yw

If i got the vaccine will i need a PCR?

alos hashachar

can u start a thread on where we can get heimishe/fast testing in major jewish cities around the globe? would especially appreciate any leads on rio or sao paulo ?

R2
Ari

I spoke to the Chabad Rabbi there and he said that they could arrange covid test by doctors there
this is there Contact Info
Chabad Cozumel
Telephone Phone:(Whatsapp) +521-987-10-40-770
Mail chabadcozumel@gmail.com

Ari

I spoke to the Chabad Rabbi there he said they could arrange Covid test by ‏doctor’s they know their
this is their contact info
Phone:(Whatsapp) +521-987-10-40-770
Mail chabadcozumel@gmail.com
Website http://www.chabadcozumel.com

HK17

Bummer, but not a big surprise after implementated this last week. Scheduled to take a trip to Rio 01/29-02/09 using AA points, but will likely cancel now.

Might see if there are easy options for testing in Rio so we can return, but what a headache if one of us tested positive, we and had to stay until a negative test… Might be prudent to simply cancel and reschedule for another time.

Harry

I moved my Cancun trip to Puerto Rico next week. I honestly think people are taking a huge chance still going to places like Mexico, if someone gets a positive test their stuck in their hotel room for 14 days

EP

Is Puerto Rico OK to go to? Would the flight back to NY pose an issue?
Also, the hotels require a negative PCR test taken how many days prior to arrival? Is this something you need to provide in the airport or at the hotel?

Ep

Can anyone waiting on this? Trying to book a trip and want to make sure that there are no issues

Harry

You do not need to get a test coming back from Puerto Rico> You do need a test to get into Puerto Rico within 72 hours of landing, but not sure if they accept a Rapid Test so I am getting a PCR.

Mark davidson

EVERY country has plenty of places to do covid tests and get results within 48 hours max. I have traveled non stop in 2020 and into 2021 to over 20 countries and taken 32 covid tests (yes I was positive once and had to quarantine in Turkey for 15 days. Turkish govt actually paid for hotel room and food for duration! Point is there are still tourists everywhere and they ALL had this requirement (USA is one of last countries on earth to mandate pcr test for returning citizens. Just do your homework.

Mark davidson

Data point…. Cheapest covid tests in world are in Turkey (30 euro) Egypt (30 usd) and Dubai approx 45 usd.

Danfan+

Does the sapphire reserve pay back for the test that we take abroad as a medical expense?

Sam

I called them and they said no

Reb Yid

Not sure what the fear is.. Just buy the cheap antigen tests that Dan was advertising and write a letter saying the test results.

Dan\'s Fan

Wana leave the country Monday-Wednesday, Would a rapid test from Sunday afternoon be good for the return flight on Wednesday?

Moishe

I don’t see too many places selling antigen tests, Dan, maybe you can find deals or give more information? you probably know more about this than any of us. Are there locations where we are better off bringing a test with us vs other places where it is better to get the test locally before we return to the US? Thanks for any guidance.

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