All people traveling by air must show a negative COVID test to enter the USA This applies to all air passengers, 2 years of age or older, including US citizens and legal permanent residents.
The order takes effect on January 26, 2021
Frequently asked questions from people traveling from and to the USA
Does this requirement apply to US citizens?
This Order applies to all air passengers, 2 years of age or older, traveling into the US, including US citizens and legal permanent residents.
Can foreign nationals under the Presidential Proclamation travel restriction now enter the US with a negative test?
Several Presidential proclamations established restrictions on the entry of certain travelers into the US in an effort to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
With specific exceptions, foreign nationals who have been in any of the following countries during the past 14 days may not enter the US. For a full list of countries under the proclamations, visit Travelers Prohibited from Entry to the United States.
When do I need to get a test to travel to the US? And what kind of COVID19 test do I need?
Get tested no more than 3 days before your flight to the US departs. Make sure to be tested with a viral test (NAAT or antigen test) to determine if you are currently infected with COVID-19. Also make sure that you receive your results before your flight departs and have documentation of your results to show the airline.
What if I recently recovered from COVID-19?
CDC does not recommend getting tested again in the three months after a positive viral test, as long as you do not have symptoms of COVID-19. If you have had a positive viral test in the past 3 months, and you have met the criteria to end isolation, you may travel instead with documentation of your positive viral test results and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that states you have been cleared for travel. The positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery.”
Who is checking to make sure that people have a negative test or documentation of recovery before they board a plane to the US?
The airline will confirm a COVID-19 negative test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before boarding.
What happens if I don’t take a test and want to travel to the US?
Air passengers traveling to the US are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery. Airlines must confirm the negative test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before boarding. If a passenger chooses not to provide a test result or documentation of recovery, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.
What happens if I test positive?
People should self-isolate and delay their travel if symptoms develop or a pre-departure test result is positive until they have recovered from COVID-19. Airlines must refuse to board anyone who does not provide a negative test result for COVID-19 or documentation of recovery.
What is a verifiable test result?
A verifiable test result must be in the form of written documentation (paper or electronic copy) of a laboratory test result. Testing must be performed using a viral test (NAAT or antigen), and negative results must be provided to the airline prior to boarding. The test result documentation must include information that identifies the person, a specimen collection date and the type of test. A negative test result must show the test was done within the 3 days before the flight. A positive test result must show the test was done within the 3 months before the flight.
What kind of documentation of my test result do I need to provide?
CDC requires that air passengers arriving in the US 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 US.
If I tested negative before my flight, do I need to get another test when I get to the US?
CDC recommends that travelers get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home or otherwise self-quarantine for 7 days after travel. Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days. If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 10 days. Always follow state and local recommendations or requirements related to travel.
All travelers (including those who have recovered from COVID-19) should remember to wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet apart from people who are not in your household, and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing and before eating. Travelers should look for symptoms of COVID-19, and take your temperature if you feel sick. Anyone sick with symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate and delay further travel.
For more information, visit After You Travel Internationally
Do I need to get a test before leaving the US?
CDC recommends that you get tested with a viral test (NAAT or antigen) 1-3 days before you travel internationally. Travelers should additionally follow any requirements at their destination.
When does this order take effect?
This Order will go into effect on January 26, 2021.
Does this order apply to all flights? Or just commercial flights?
This order applies to all flights, including private flights and general aviation aircraft (charter flights). Passengers traveling by air into the US are required to have proof of COVID19 test regardless of flight type.
Does the testing requirement apply to aircraft crew members?
Crew members on official duty, whether working or in an assigned deadhead status (transportation of a flight crew member as a passenger or non-operating flight crew member), are exempt from the testing requirement as long as they follow industry standard protocols for the prevention of COVID-19 as set forth in relevant Safety Alerts for Operators (SAFOs) issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
If I have one or more connecting flights to the US, does the 3-day period apply to the first flight or the last one?
If you are arriving on a direct flight to the US, your test must be done within the 3 days before your flight to the US departs. If you are arriving to the US 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 record with a final destination in the US and each connection (layover) is no longer than 24 hours long. If your connecting flight to the US was booked separately or a connection in your itinerary lasts longer than 24 hours, you will need to get tested within the 3 days before your flight that arrives in the US.
What happens if my flight is delayed and it goes over the 3-day limit for testing?
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.
If I am connecting through the US to another country, do I still need to get tested?
Yes. Any flight entering the US, even for a connection, will require COVID19 testing before departure.
What should airlines and operators of private flights or general aviation aircraft do with passenger attestations?
Operators of private flights and general aviation aircraft must maintain passenger attestations for two years, per the Order.
Do airlines and operators of private flights or general aviation aircraft need to keep copies of passenger test results?
No, passengers must show a copy of their test results to airline employees or the aircraft operator before boarding, but the airline or aircraft operator does not need to retain copies of test results.
What if I have had a COVID-19 vaccine? Do I still need a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19?
Yes, all air passengers traveling to the US, regardless of vaccination status, are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery.
List of labs doing COVID test in Mexico
Read about previous updates and how these affected traveling to some cities in Mexico here
What the US Embassy in Mexico said about the COVID test
From the US Embassy in Mexico website
As of January 13, Mexico has confirmed 1,571,901 total cases of COVID-19 within its borders since the beginning of the pandemic. Mexican authorities report widespread community transmission, thousands of cases of infection, and increased numbers of patients requiring hospitalization. The Mexican Ministry of Health publishes daily updates on the number of cases.
Five states are designated “red” under the federal stoplight system between January 4 and January 17
- Baja California
- Mexico City,
- Mexico State,
Under red, only essential activities are allowed. See more information on state-level restrictions and the stoplight system below in the “Nationwide Restrictions and Resources” section.
- The U.S. Department of State updated the Travel Advisoryfor Mexico on September 8. Reconsider travel to Mexico due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in Mexico due to crime and kidnapping. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
- Please see the latest information about the status of consular operations including routine appointments and emergency services.
Per the CDC order signed January 12, 2021, a negative COVID-19 test taken within the 3 calendar days before the flight departure, or documentation of recovery from a COVID-19 infection within the last 90 days, is required for air passengers entering the United States on or after January 26, 2021. Please read the announcement and the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions. This requirement does not apply to travelers entering the United States by land or sea or to children under two years of age. It applies to U.S. citizens, as well as foreign nationals, regardless of vaccination status.
- A negative viral COVID test or documentation of recovery is required for traveling by air to the United States, including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents age two and over, and regardless of vaccination status.
- This order applies to all flights, including private flights and general aviation aircraft (charter flights). A negative COVID testing is not currently required for travel by land border.
- Air passengers are required to take a viral test (PCR/NAAT or antigen test for current infection) no more than three calendar days prior to their flight departure to the United States. Antibody tests are not compliant with the requirement.
- If you are arriving to the United States via one or more connecting flights, your test must be done in the three days before the first flight in your itinerary, but only if the connecting flights were booked as a single passenger record with a final destination in the United States and each connection (layover) is no longer than 24 hours long. If your connecting flight to the United States was booked separately or a connection in your itinerary lasts longer than 24 hours, you will need to get tested within the three days before your flight that arrives in the United States.
- CDC requires that air passengers arriving in the United States have a paper or electronic copy of their test result for review by the airline before boarding and possible review by public health officials after arrival in the United States. Passengers must provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline prior to boarding.
- Airline personnel must verify that every passenger over age two onboard has attested to receiving a negative test result or to having recovered from COVID-19 and being cleared to travel by a licensed health professional or a public health official. A parent or other authorized individual should attest on behalf of a passenger aged two to 17 years that they have received a negative test. To see the passenger attestation, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/pdf/attachment-a-global-passenger-disclosure-and-attestation-2021-01-12-p.pdf.
- If an air traveler has had a positive viral test in the past three months, and have met the criteria to end isolation, he or she may travel instead with documentation of positive viral test results and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official that states the passenger has been cleared for travel. The positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery.”
- Airlines are responsible for enforcing the requirement for passengers on U.S.-bound flights. Airlines will deny boarding to anyone without a negative test or documentation of recovering from COVID-19.
- If you test positive, you must self-isolate and delay your travel. Do not travel until you have recovered completely from COVID-19.
- If your flight is delayed before departure, you will need to be re-tested if the delay causes your test to fall outside of the three day pre-departure testing period.
- You will have to pay for your test. You should contact your medical/travel insurance to find out if they will reimburse you.
- Testing availability in Mexico: The Secretariat of Health (Salud) maintains a list of approved laboratories (Spanish only) for viral COVID-19 testing. Many local hospitals, clinics, and laboratories offer private testing for travel purposes.
- The cost of PCR tests typically range from approximately 950 MXN to 4500 MXN, and the cost of viral antigen tests typically range from 200 MXN to 1000 MXN, depending on location and speed of results. Travelers are responsible for the costs of their own tests and any associated medical care. The Embassy and Consulates are unable to administer or pay for tests.
- S. Mission Mexico has prepared a list of private testing providers. Note: This list is not comprehensive and the information within is subject to change at any time. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on this lists. Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government. Providers are listed by location, and the order in which they appear has no other significance. The information on the list is provided directly by local service providers; the Department of State is unable to vouch for this information.
- Travelers visiting Mexico should contact their tour provider or hotel for more information on local testing options.
- Please ensure that the test provider you choose will provide test results that comply with CDC guidelines (for U.S.-bound travelers) and those of your airline.
- For U.S.-bound travelers, each state has its own testing and entry requirements. Verify what is necessary to enter the state to which you are traveling. The CDC offers testing and quarantine information on all states: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-planner/index.html.
- The symptoms of COVID-19 (such as fever, cough, headaches, throat pain, or constant sneezing) are very similar to other respiratory diseases. If you have mild symptoms, call your usual health care provider or the Mexican government’s hotline at 800 0044 800 or 55 5658 1111 in order to receive advice to determine whether to stay home or seek medical attention. If you or someone in your family has difficulty breathing, please go to the emergency room or call 911 immediately.
- Individuals who were in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 and present symptoms of respiratory illness should follow the instructions above. It is advisable to remain in quarantine for 14 days to prevent spreading the disease to other people.
- If you are experiencing fear, anxiety, or emotional isolation, please call the Mexican government’s hotline at 800 911 2000 for advice and support.
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