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Negative PCR Test Required For Travelers Entering USA

Updated: Jan 22, 2021

Travelers flying into the United States from international destinations will be required to show proof of a negative coronavirus test before boarding their flight.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the policy Tuesday and said it would take effect from January 26. The agency said it hoped the new testing requirement would help slow the spread of the virus, now surging in the United States, as the vaccine rollout continues.

Passengers will have to show proof of a negative test to their airline before boarding. If a passenger does not provide a negative test or recovery from COVID-19 or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding, the CDC says.

Airlines for America, the airline industry trade group, last week sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence urging the government to implement a global program to require rapid testing for travelers to the United States.

The group's goal is to stop the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 while eliminating current entry restrictions on travelers from Europe, the United Kingdom, and Brazil, the group said.

  • "These entry restrictions should be removed concurrently with the testing program, which will provide yet another layer of safety in the travel journey," Nicholas Calio, the group's CEO, said in the letter.

The CDC did not mention easing entry restrictions in tandem with the new testing requirement. USA TODAY has reached out to the CDC and Airlines for America for comment.

On Christmas Eve, the CDC ordered negative coronavirus tests for all travelers arriving from the U.K. after the discovery of a new coronavirus variant.

Canada went a step further, requiring all airline passengers over age 5 bound for that country to have a negative coronavirus test. Even with a negative test, arriving passengers are still required to quarantine for 14 days.


All links and info travelers need to know

The Ministry of Health of Ukraine advises that PCR document showing results must:

  • Be in English (translation into Ukrainian is preferable, if possible - not obligatory)

  • State the sample collection time and the time when results were received

  • Specifically mention the test type – PCR – polymerase chain reaction

  • Show the full name, date of birth, and passport number of the traveler

  • Include the name, address, and contact details of the lab performing the test

  • Clearly state the result – COVID-19 NO or COVID-19 YES

COVID-19 Testing

Information Resources:

Other links:



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