New CDC Testing Requirements for Entry into the United States

Negative tests to be Required for Entry into the US from Foreign Countries

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that effective January 26th, 2021, COVID testing requirements will be expanded to all air passengers entering the United States from foreign countries, including both commercial & business aviation.

covid testing requirements united states

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For all passengers over the age of 2 entering the United States, including US citizens and legal permanent residents, you must (A) provide a negative COVID result from a viral (PCR or antigen) test collected within 3 days of your departure, or (B) provide documentation of recovery from a licensed healthcare provider or public health official clearing passengers for travel.

These broader requirements are similar to those recently used for travel between the UK and US, where a more transmissible variant has appeared. These guidelines require all passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country to receive a negative test result no more than 3 days prior to their flight, and to provide proof of the negative result prior to boarding both commercial and private planes.

Similar requirements are in place for passengers who have tested positive and recovered, with documentation from a licensed healthcare provider or public health official clearing passengers for travel.

For more information on testing requirements, visit the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions.

Pre-flight Testing Requirements

Effective January 26th, 2021, regardless of vaccination status, all passengers must provide a negative test result prior to flying into the United States.

Negative COVID Tests must meet the following requirements:

Documentation of Recovery

If you have tested positive within the past 3 months and meet the criteria to end isolation, you are permitted to travel with what is known as a “documentation of recovery” – written or electronic documentation of your positive test results together with a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or public health official stating you have been cleared to resume traveling.

The requirements for documentation of recovery include:

Letters are not required to mention travel specifically as long as they fall within the 90 day period, meaning letters obtained for return to work or school are also eligible.

How will this this impact private jet travelers?

Effective January 26th, 2021, all aircraft operators – including those operating private charter flights – will be required to comply with the above listed obligations for all passengers, including private jet passengers. Additional requirements are in place for passengers with connecting flights, which will not apply in the case of most private flights.

The NBAA expects the following exemptions to apply for:

Visit the CDC Website for the latest travel requirements: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel