CDC updates COVID-19 Air Travel Guide | Jackson Lewis PC


As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves daily, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have updated their guidance on what is required or recommended for travelers after they arrive in the United States. These new changes add to the December 2021 requirements for travel to the United States.

Repeat: Before boarding

Non-US Persons (Persons who are not US citizens, US nationals or legal permanent residents) must show two things:

US persons, however, only need to provide either a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than one day prior to travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 within the last 90 days. Since vaccination is not mandatory, US citizens may be required to provide contact information to airlines prior to boarding to facilitate contact tracing should this become necessary.

New: After arrival

The new post-arrival recommendations and requirements also vary based on citizenship status.

Non-US Persons who were allowed to fly to the USA due to an exception without being fully vaccinated It may be necessary to submit certain certificates:

  • Agree to be tested within 3-5 days of arrival unless they have documentation of recovery from COVID-19 within the past 90 days.
  • Agree to stay at home or in a hotel room and self-quarantine for a full 7 days even if they test negative, unless they have documentation of recovery from COVID-19 within the last 90 days .
  • If the COVID-19 test is positive or if COVID-19 symptoms develop, the non-US person should be isolated.
  • Those planning to stay in the United States for 60 days or more must be fully vaccinated within 60 days of arrival or as soon as medically appropriate unless there is a medical contraindication or if the person is too young to be vaccinated .

Non-US persons who are fully vaccinated but not “up to date”. ie, who have not received a booster vaccination should stay at home and self-quarantine for a full 5 days after travel.

  • CDC recommends testing within 3-5 days of travel, self-monitoring for symptoms, and isolation and testing if symptoms develop

US persons should do the following upon arrival:

If not vaccinated or not up to date with COVID-19 vaccines:

  • Stay home and self-quarantine for a full 5 days after travel

Also, US persons who are vaccinated should:

  • Get tested within 3-5 days of travel
  • Self-monitoring for symptoms and isolation if symptoms develop

There is a distinction between isolation and quarantine, but this distinction does not change the required behavior.

  • isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
  • quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they get sick.

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