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US To Require Negative Covid Test from International Passengers Starting January 26, 2021 | Updated Requirements for Travel to the United States

The US will require all passengers traveling to the country on international flights to test negative for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) starting January 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Tuesday.
from: Commission on Filipinos Overseas

WASHINGTON – The US will require all passengers traveling to the country on international flights to test negative for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) starting January 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Tuesday.

"Variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to emerge in countries around the world, and there is evidence of increased transmissibility of some of these variants," the CDC said in a statement. "With the US already in surge status, the testing requirement for air passengers will help slow the spread of the virus as we work to vaccinate the American public."

"Air passengers are required to get a viral test (a test for current infection) within the three days before their flight to the US departs and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from Covid-19," it added.

The agency said airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers and if a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.

"Testing does not eliminate all risk," CDC Director Robert Redfield said. "But when combined with a period of staying at home and everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer, healthier, and more responsible by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at destinations."

As of late Tuesday, the US had more than 22.7 million coronavirus cases and nearly 380,000 deaths, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Source: The Philippine News Agency


Related Advisory from Delta Airlines

US Government requires all international arriving passengers to present negative test COVID result effective January 26, 2021


Summary of CDC Worldwide Testing Order

  • Timing – Effective date January 26. 
  • All passengers departing from any foreign country to the U.S. must have a negative test COVID result from a test taken within 3 days of departure
  • Connecting passengers must take the test within 3 days of the first departure; connections cannot be longer than 24 hours
  • Passengers who have recovered from COVID can board with a positive test and a letter from a licensed health provider or public health official stating that the passenger has been cleared for travel
  • Permissible tests – includes “nucleic acid amplification test or viral antigen test” that is approved or authorized by the relevant national authority
  • Passenger responsibilities :
    • Produce signed attestation
    • Produce qualifying negative test result for airline inspection and keep it in case requested by a health authority in the U.S.
    • Documentation of tests results and attestation may be in paper or electronic form.


  • Crew
  • Children under 2 years old
  • Airlines transporting passengers with COVIDD 19 pursuant to CDC authorization
  • Federal law enforcement and military personnel on orders
  • Airlines granted specific waivers based on CDC’s determination that a foreign country lacks testing capacity (limited to 14 days, unless renewed)

Please refer to this link for the official press release from CDC :


Health Alert: Updated Requirements for Travel to the United States
Photo from: U.S. Embassy in the Philippines

Updated Requirements for Travel to the United States

Effective January 26, 2021, all air passengers traveling to the United States from a foreign country, including U.S. citizens, must present either proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of departure, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. All airlines will be required to confirm the negative test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers prior to boarding.

Additional information about this new requirement is available on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website:

Actions to Take:

• Visit the CDC’s website for more information before you book travel to the United States:
• Check with your airline, cruise line, or travel operator for information on how testing requirements and other restrictions may affect your plans.
• See the Embassy’s COVID-19 webpage for information about current conditions in the Philippines:

For further information:

• See the State Department’s travel website ( for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Advisories, Alerts, and the Philippines Country Specific Information (
• Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency:
• Contact the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, located at 1201 Roxas Boulevard, at +(63) (2) 5301-2000, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +(63) (2) 5301-2000.
• Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
• Follow @TravelGov on Twitter ( and Facebook (

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