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COVID Testing to Return to the US from an Overseas Trip

COVID Testing to Return to the US from an Overseas Trip

In order to return to the United States from an overseas trip, travelers must test negative for COVID.  This blog post answers basic questions on COVID testing to return to the United States:

Who Needs to Be Tested:  Everyone over 2 years of age regardless of citizenship needs to be tested.

What Kind of Test is Needed:  A Rapid Antigen Test is sufficient.  PCR tests are accepted also.   These need to be "rapid" tests where results can be reported quickly.  Most rapid tests give results within 30 minutes. 

When Does the Test Need to be Performed:  On the day of departure or the day before departure to the United States. 

Who Can Conduct the Test?:  The test can be conducted by a professional health care provider or an authorized pharmacy or testing center.   Alternatively, travelers can purchase a monitored (proctored) test and perform the test themselves.  In this case it is important to purchase the test directly from the company or airline.  An example of a suitable test is eMed.

Does an Appointment Need to be Made for the Test to be Performed by a Health Care Professional or Testing Center:  Usually, an appointment is required.

What is a Monitored or Proctored Test?:   In using a monitored/proctored test like eMed, the traveler conducts the test, with the aid of a cell phone, while a person supervises the test.  The test result is emailed to the traveler.   Those results can be shown upon check-in at the airport.  Tests that are not monitored/proctored are not acceptable. 

How are Test Results Reported from a Pharmacy/Health Care Provider/Testing Center?:  The test results are emailed to the traveler.

Are Any Documents Needed to Perform the Test?:  A passport may be needed.   In addtion, the traveler CDC card may be required, especially at check-in to depart home. 

 

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