Covid Test Details for Re-Entering the U.S. from Abroad

Update as of Dec. 6, 2021: the following info from the CDC website may be of interest to some travelers: The CDC order states that everyone over age two flying into the United States from another country must show a recent (within 1 day) negative Covid-19 test result at the airport before they fly. This is for both citizens and non-citizens.

What type of Covid tests are acceptable under this CDC order? Passengers must be tested with either an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT).

Can I use a rapid test before the flight? Rapid tests are acceptable as long as they are one of the accepted viral tests.

Does a self-test meet the conditions of the CDC order? International air passengers traveling to the United States can use a self-test (sometimes referred to as “home test”) that meets the following criteria:  The test must be a nucleic acid amplification test [NAAT] or an antigen test allowed by the FDA.

The testing procedure must include a telehealth-service affiliated with the manufacturer of the test that provides real-time supervision remotely through an audio and video connection like Zoom. (Some FDA-authorized self-tests that include a telehealth service may require a prescription from a doctor.) The airline must be able to review and confirm the person’s identity and the test result details. The passenger may also be required to present the documentation of test results to U.S. officials upon arrival.

So should I bring my own test with me on my trip then? It depends. Some countries may restrict the importation of tests that are not authorized or registered there. Travelers who are considering bringing a U.S. authorized test with them for use outside of the United States should contact authorities about it at their destination before they travel.

Can the BinaxNow antigen self- test for Covid-19 be used to show negative proof for travel/airlines? No, this is for personal use (and peace of mind) only and doesn’t provide a documented test result that you can display when traveling.

Here’s a very helpful website that explains more of the necessary details in a very clear manner.

Happy and safe travels, Dean and Andie

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