Airlines must confirm the negative test result or proof of recent recovery for all passengers prior to boarding. Airlines must deny boarding of passengers who do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery.
Humanitarian exemptions to this order will be granted on an extremely limited basis and will only be considered when the country of departure lacks adequate SARS-CoV-2 testing capacity and cannot meet the requirements to provide a negative viral COVID-19 test within three (3) calendar days of departure.
There are no waivers available through this process for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.
Individuals - or air carriers seeking to allow boarding by potentially qualifying individuals - who believe they meet the criteria for a waiver should contact the embassy or consulate serving the location from which they plan to depart and provide the information below. The embassy or consulate will then submit the request to the CDC for consideration.
The following information must be provided for each passenger:
a. Name (family name/surname, given name), passport number and nationality
b. Cell phone number including country code of passenger or head of household if family unit
c. Email address of passenger or head of household if family unit
d. U.S. destination address
i.Is U.S. destination home address?
e. Departure date
f. Flight itinerary, including any connecting flights
g. Name of submitting entity if different from passenger
h. Name of company submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
i. Name of point of contact submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
j. Phone and email address for POC submitting waiver request on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
k. Purpose of travel to the U.S. (provide brief explanation of why urgent travel is needed and how travel will contribute to health and safety of passengers(s))
l. Justification for testing waiver (e.g. no testing available, impact on health and safety)
m. Documentation to support justification for test waiver, if available (e.g. medical records or orders for medical evacuation).
How many days must the negative COVID-19 viral test be taken prior to attempting to enter the United States? Is it 3 calendar days from departure or arrival in the United States?
If you are arriving on a direct flight to the United States, your test must be done within the 3 calendar days before your flight to the United States departs. If you are arriving to the United States via one or more connecting flights, your test must be done in the 3 days before the first flight in your itinerary, but only if the connecting flights were booked as a single passenger booking with a final destination in the United States and any layovers no longer than 24 hours. If your connecting flight to the US was booked separately or a layover in your itinerary lasts longer than 24 hours or your travel is disrupted and you leave the airport, you will need to get tested within the 3 days before your flight that arrives in the US.
Is there a specific type of COVID-19 test that must be taken?
You will need a viral test (NAAT or antigen test) to determine if you are currently infected with COVID-19.
Do test results need to be in English? Will the airline require a hard copy of the test results?
Please check with your airline to determine in what language results can be submitted. CDC requires air passengers to have a paper or electronic copy of their test result for review by the airline before you board and for potential review by public health officials after you arrive in the United States. Passengers will also attest to the authenticity of the test presented.
Will U.S. visa applicants need to present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test in order to be approved for a visa?
YES – the order does apply to nonimmigrant and immigrant visa holders.
What happens if my flight is delayed on my way to the United States and the 3 day time frame expires? Will I need to retest?
If your flight is delayed before departure, you will need to get re-tested if the delay causes your test to fall outside of the 3-day pre-departure testing period requirement. A delay while traveling on a continuous itinerary will not invalidate an otherwise valid test unless it results in you leaving the airport terminal or a layover lasting longer than 24 hours.