U.S. will require negative COVID-19 results from airline passengers prior to arrival


Travelers wait to check-in for their flights ahead of Thanksgiving at LaGuardia Airport, in the Queens borough of New York. With some Americans now paying the price for what they did over Thanksgiving, health officials are warning people — begging them, even — not to make the same mistake during the Christmas and New Year’s season. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)—Travelers boarding international flights to the United States have a big hurdle to clear beginning Tuesday Jan. 26.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: COVID-19 vaccination distribution in the RGV

All passengers, ages 2 and older must present a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than three days before their flight, or proof they have recovered from virus within the past three months.

Those who do not comply, will be denied boarding.

The new requirement was announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the beginning of January. But, it was formalized in President Joe Biden’s executive order on COVID-19 safety domestic and international travel last week.

Those that must travel abroad following the implementation of this order should carefully consider the following:

  • You could have difficulty accessing a test. Testing availability and turnaround times vary widely around the world. Check the U.S. Embassy website for your planned destination(s) for information about testing options. What plan do you have to ensure you can get a test that meets the requirement in order to come home on time?
  • You could test positive and have to stay abroad. Many individuals infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 are asymptomatic and unaware they carry the virus. If you test positive, you will not be able to return home as planned. What plan do you have in case you cannot come home for several weeks? Where will you stay? How will you finance your stay?
  • You could have difficulty accessing or financing medical care. Travelers should be aware that the availability and quality of healthcare varies around the world, and that private health insurance may not cover expenses incurred abroad. Will your health insurance cover your hospitalization or other medical expenses abroad? Do you have travel insurance that covers medical evacuation to the United States, and does it include COVID-19 as a covered item?

For more information, click here.

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