International travelers must have negative Covid test day before travel

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A new Covid-19 requirement mandates that travelers over the age of two entering the U.S. must present a negative Covid test no more than one day “before” traveling. Originally, this rule allowed a three-day period to produce a test. We talked about the new mandate with travel agent Estelle Wilkinson.

This mandate went into effect December 6th, and the window of providing the test is a day before, not strictly 24 hours due to avoiding confusion over differing time zones. There are certain brands of tests that people must take with most of them being PCR and antigen tests. The test is set to a QR code which allows for the traveler to board.

Antigen tests can be purchased in the U.S and brought along the traveler and can be done a day prior to travel back to the U.S. Results usually come in 20 minutes.

“Always check on the CDC website prior to travel because it changes every day,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson said vaccines don’t really play a role in the new mandate, and a negative test is still needed to enter back into the U.S regardless of vaccination status.

Wilkinson said masks, testing kits, sanitizers, are readily available at most major airports. Most airports also have testing stations, but she said it is smart to check ahead of time. For more information on CDC travel guidelines, travelers can visit:


Estelle Wilkinson/Travel Agent

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