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CDC Orders COVID Testing Before Boarding Flights to U.S.

14 Jan

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) signed an order on Jan. 12, 2021 expanding the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to all air passengers before they will be permitted to board a flight to the United States. This new order will apply to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals alike. Previously, the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test applied only to passengers coming from the United Kingdom. 

The new order will become effective on Jan. 26, 2021. Upon the effective date, all air passengers will be required to obtain a viral test (a test for current infection) within the 72 hours before their flight to the United States departs. Passengers will be required to present to the airline written documentation of their laboratory test result. Airlines will be required to confirm the negative test result, or in cases where passengers may still test positive, documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before allowing the passenger to board the flight. 

Travelers who test positive must be prepared to quarantine and receive any necessary medical care abroad. Further, because additional countries could adopt testing requirements or new or modified travel restrictions, international travelers should be aware of the potential for disruption of their travel plans. 

Foster will continue to monitor international travel restrictions resulting from COVID-19 and continue to provide updates via our firm’s website at If you have any questions regarding the most up-to-date travel restrictions and how these may affect your travel plans, please reach out to your Foster attorney.