Per United States entry requirements, all travelers currently entering from abroad (including U.S. citizens) must undergo COVID-19 testing, regardless of vaccination status.
What You Need to Know
As of December 6, 2021, all travelers 2 years or older entering the United States are subject to the following COVID-19 testing requirements:
- All travelers (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) must get a COVID-19 viral test no more than 1 calendar day before their flight’s departure to the U.S. The test must be a diagnostic SARS-CoV-2 viral test (nucleic acid amplification test [NAAT] such as RT-PCR, OR an antigen test) with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- If you recently recovered from COVID-19, you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from COVID-19 (i.e., your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country AND a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).
Test results and/or proof of recent recovery must be presented to the airline before boarding your flight to the U.S. Per these entry requirements to the United States, air passengers will also be required to confirm that the information they present is true in the form of an attestation.
For AdventureSmith Travelers
AdventureSmith Explorations is working to assist our clients with the testing portion of these United States entry requirements. We have partnered with trusted concierge labs in many international destinations. We can assist our clients with making an appointment to obtain a qualifying test prior to their return flight. These concierge services can perform the test right in your hotel room, often returning same-day results. Your Adventure Specialist will assist you in all aspects of planning your qualifying COVID-19 test to satisfy these U.S. travel restrictions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does this requirement apply to U.S. Citizens?
Yes, this Order applies to all air passengers 2 years or older traveling into the U.S., including U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders) unless exempted.
What types of COVID-19 tests are acceptable under the Order?
You must be tested with a viral test that could be either an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT).
Can I get a rapid test?
Rapid tests are acceptable if they are a viral test that meet the requirements under the Order.
Can I use a self test?
Yes, as long as it meets the following criteria:
- The test must be a diagnostic SARS-CoV-2 viral test (nucleic acid amplification test [NAAT] such as RT-PCR, OR an antigen test) with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- The testing procedure must include a telehealth service affiliated with the manufacturer of the test that provides real-time supervision remotely through an audio and video connection. Some FDA-authorized self-tests that include a telehealth service may require a prescription.
- The telehealth provider must confirm your identity, observe the sample collection and testing procedures, confirm the test result, and issue a report that meets the requirements of CDC’s Order.
- Airlines and other aircraft operators must be able to review and confirm your identity and the test result details. You must also be able to present the documentation of test results to U.S. officials at the port of entry and local/state health departments, if requested.
Full Vaccination Criteria
For air travel into the United States, full vaccination is only required for non-U.S. citizens (exceptions detailed in the CDC’s Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination For Air Passengers page). Here are the criteria to be considered fully vaccinated for inbound air travel:
- 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted single-dose vaccine
- 2 weeks (14 days) after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series
- 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial
- 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of a Novavax (or Covovax) COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a phase 3 clinical trial
- 2 weeks (14 days) after you received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart*
If you don’t meet these requirements, then per the CDC travel guidelines, you are NOT fully vaccinated.
*CDC has not recommended the use of mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccine primary series. However, such strategies are increasingly common in many countries outside of the United States. Therefore, for the of purpose of interpreting vaccination records for travel to the United States, CDC will accept combinations of accepted COVID-19 vaccines.
CDC Travel Guidelines
The CDC has recommendations for travelers. Take these steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. For more information visit Travel During COVID-19.
- If you are eligible, get fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Wait 2 weeks after getting your second vaccine dose to travel—it takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination.
- If you are unvaccinated, get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before you travel. Keep a copy of your test results with you during travel in case you are asked for them. Do NOT travel if you test positive.
- Check travel restrictions before you go.
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
- Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about two arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere—both indoors and outdoors.
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
- Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer.
- Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Do NOT travel if you were exposed to COVID-19 (unless you are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days), or if you are sick or you test positive for COVID-19. Learn when it is safe for you to travel. Don’t travel with someone who is sick.
Linked below are additional COVID-19 resources, updated regularly, for use when considering travel. For information regarding AdventureSmith’s most popular destinations, please see our COVID travel logistics posts for the following destinations: