Covid-19 Useful Information

Travelling to the USA winter 2021?

Effective January 26, 2021 all airline passengers to the United States aged two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, passengers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.

The U.S. Embassy assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or companies listed in the commercially available COVID-19 testing list.  Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department of State or the U.S. Embassy.  Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance.  The Embassy is not in a position to vouch for these providers.  You may seek additional information about the service providers on the list by contacting them directly. Please check the U.S. Embassy in your country to view the commercially available COVID-19 testing lists.

The U.S. Government assumes no responsibility for payment of medical expenses for private individuals. Additionally, the U.S. Medicare Program does not provide coverage for hospital or medical costs outside of the United States.

If you plan to travel internationally, get tested before you travel by air into the United States (US), or be prepared to show proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel.

On January 12, 2021, CDC issued an Order requiring all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country to get tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to present the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. This Order will go into effect at 12:01am EST (5:01am GMT) on January 26, 2021.

When it goes into effect, this Order will replace a  previous order currently in effect and signed by the CDC Director on December 25, 2020, requiring a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test result for all airline passengers arriving into the United States from the United Kingdompdf icon.

COVID-19 Travel information to the USA.

  • Passengers bound for the U.S. on international flights must have a viral test, according to the CDC. PCR and antigen tests both qualify.
  • While European Governments are not offering tests for the purposes of international travel, commercial testing facilities are available.  Pre-departure testing is also available at some airports. Please check at your local airport to book.
  • The cost for a COVID-19 test through commercial suppliers typically range from €100 to €150 for RT-PCR tests.
  • Are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes
  • Most of Europe’s public health services are at full capacity for COVID-19 testing and is prioritising people who have symptoms. Close contacts will not be tested during this time. If you are a close contact you need to restrict your movements (stay at home), even if you feel well.  If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 self-isolate (stay in your room) and phone your healthcare provider or a public health official for further advice.
  • U.S. citizens who experience symptoms or are a close contact of a confirmed case may be able to arrange and obtain a COVID-19 test through a healthcare provider or a public health official. The test and medial assessment should be free of charge.  If the provider determines that an individual does not need to be tested, he or she will be advised to stay home and self-isolate for 14 days. 
  • Most people will get their results within 2 days, but it can take longer.
  • Test results are sent by text message. If your test is positive, you will also receive a call.
  • Test results are given 7 days a week up until 9pm.

What tests are acceptable for travel to the US?

PCR (polymerase chain reactiontest, uses a swab to take material from the back of the throat and/or the very top of the nostrils.

Rapid Antigen Test. the antigen test looks for molecules on the surface of the virus. Read more about the rapid antigen test here.

Are foreign nationals no longer subject to presidential proclamation travel restrictions if they can show a negative test or documentation of recovery?

The CDC order does not replace the presidential proclamations. Therefore, a negative test result for COVID-19 or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight does not exempt a foreign national from the travel restrictions outlined in the Presidential proclamations.

With specific exceptions, several presidential proclamations suspend and limit entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, all aliens who were physically present within specific countries during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.

For a full list of countries and links to the proclamations on the White House website, visit Travelers Prohibited from Entry to the United States.

What if I recently recovered from COVID-19?

CDC does not recommend getting tested again in the three months after a positive viral test, as long as you do not have symptoms of COVID-19. If you have had a positive viral test in the past 3 months, and you have met the criteria to end isolation, you may travel instead with documentation of your positive viral test results and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that states you have been cleared for travel. The positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery.”

Who is checking to make sure that people have a negative test or documentation of recovery before they board a plane to the US?

The airline will confirm a COVID-19 negative test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before boarding.

What happens if I don’t take a test and want to travel to the US?

Air passengers traveling to the US are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery.  Airlines must confirm the negative test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before boarding. If a passenger chooses not to present a test result or documentation of recovery, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.