International travelers must test negative for COVID-19 before returning to US

CDC to require negative test for everyone entering country

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If you plan to leave the country, you’re going to need to test negative for COVID-19 before you come back.

In less than two weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will require air travelers to have a negative COVID-19 test result before they get back in the United States.

It’s another attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus, especially with more contagious strains popping up across the world.

Many other countries already require a negative test result to get in. However, this is the first time since the pandemic began that the U.S. is making it mandatory.

“It was always my dream to travel,” Connie Cenac said.

Cenac is living out that dream, even with the pandemic. She recently traveled to Mexico and the Dominican Republican, as well as across the U.S.

“I’m 71 years old, and we’re not guaranteed another tomorrow,” Cenac said. “I’m not gonna sit in my house and let the world pass me by.”

Connie Cenac recently traveled to Mexico and the Dominican Republican, as well as across the U.S.
Connie Cenac recently traveled to Mexico and the Dominican Republican, as well as across the U.S. (Connie Cenac)

Next up: Five international trips in the next six months, flying with family and friends. The new requirement by the CDC will make all of them get clean COVID-19 test results before boarding their flights back home.

Come Jan. 26, the U.S. will require fliers to get a viral test before they can board a flight back to the country.

The test must have been taken within three days of departure, and passengers must show their airlines documentation of their negative results. Otherwise, they can’t board.

RELATED LINKS: U.S. Department of State: COVID-19 Traveler Information | U.S. News & World Report: Where Can Americans Travel Right Now?

“When I’ve been to the Dominican Republic and Mexico, especially the all-inclusive resorts, they are being very careful with COVID protocols,” said Scott Lara, a travel advisor and blogger who runs thecruisegenius.com.

Lara is still booking trips to other counties and insists international travel is safe. He said some resorts are offering the tests upon checkout.

“There’s a small additional cost to it, but I feel confident people will continue to go and have fun,” he said.

Some companies are charging around $250 for a rapid COVID-19 test upon exit.

Lara believes the CDC’s new requirements will make a difference in the fight against the coronavirus.

In addition to the required negative results, the CDC recommends people stay home for seven days after their trip, just in case they come down with COVID-19.

The CDC doesn’t outline enforcement or any penalties, but it puts the burden on the airlines to keep passengers without tests from boarding.

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