Air travelers arriving to the United States from foreign destinations will now need to show proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of arriving back in the country, including U.S. citizens (ages 2 and older). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made the announcement earlier this week, with an effective date of Jan. 26.
The new directive will required airlines to deny boarding to anyone not showing a negative COVID test, and includes all countries and areas, including Mexico and the Caribbean. Previously, only travelers from the United Kingdom were required to show such a test.
Countries like Mexico have seen an influx of U.S. travelers due to the lack of access to other countries, including most of Europe. Although many Caribbean countries require a negative COVID test before arrival, Mexico does not currently have such a requirement.
Travelers who have tested positive with COVID-19 in the last three months will be excused from the test if they bring proof of the positive test as well as being cleared by a healthcare provider. If you have had the COVID-19 vaccine, you will not be exempt from the requirement.
If you are concerned about traveling outside the U.S, feel free to reach out to your travel advisor, airline, hotel, tourism bureaus, or healthcare providers for more information.
The CDC did not announce a timeline for the directive, but it will likely be in effect until COVID-19 cases reduce significantly.