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What to know about the new testing requirements for US air travel

Are you planning to fly into the United States quickly? Be ready for extra stringent testing necessities.

The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention is shortening the testing window all worldwide air vacationers must take a pre-departure coronavirus take a look at from three days to at least one. Beforehand, solely unvaccinated vacationers needed to take a take a look at not more than someday earlier than journey.

The diminished timeframe goals to “present much less alternative to develop an infection with the omicron variant previous to arrival in the US,” according to the updated CDC order.

U.S. airways have been requested to gather contact-tracing data for inbound worldwide vacationers and ship it to the CDC “upon request” since Nov. 8, when the nation adopted a brand new set of worldwide journey restrictions.

The knowledge collected contains names, addresses, telephone numbers, emails and dates of start.

This is what worldwide vacationers ought to know in regards to the new testing necessities:

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When do the brand new guidelines go into impact?
The brand new guidelines go into impact Monday at 12:01 a.m. EST and have an effect on all air passengers 2 years and older flying into the U.S. from a overseas county, no matter vaccination standing or nationality. Vacationers who can present proof that they’ve recovered from COVID-19 previously 90 days are exempt.

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What kind of take a look at can I take to fly into the US?
Vacationers should take a viral take a look at, which incorporates antigen checks and nucleic acid amplification checks akin to:

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reverse transcription-polymerase chain response (RT-PCR) checks
reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) checks
transcription-mediated amplification (TMA) checks
nicking enzyme amplification response (NEAR) checks
helicase-dependent amplification (HDA) checks.
Exams have to be approved to be used within the nation it was administered, according to the CDC.

Whereas PCR checks are in style, outcomes can take days to return. Albert Ko, a public well being professor at Yale, suggests vacationers take speedy checks accepted by the CDC to make sure they get their outcomes again in time.

Since testing choices range by nation, “my recommendation could be to scope this out very well,” Ko stated.

Some nations provide speedy testing at native pharmacies. Vacationers can even discover them inside airports, however Ko warns that these checks – whereas handy – might be costlier.

Ko himself is ready to journey to Brazil this week and plans to pack an at-home speedy antigen take a look at he can use to return to the U.S.

Vacationers ought to be aware that not all self-tests are eligible for entry into the U.S. The checks have to be carried out in entrance of a telehealth proctor and meet different {qualifications} laid out by the CDC.

For many who wish to discover out extra about their testing choices, airline web sites generally is a useful gizmo. Many worldwide carriers provide data on testing necessities and the place to search out testing facilities abroad.

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Passengers get a COVID-19 test at a testing center at Heathrow Airport in London on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021.
Why is the order someday and never 24 hours?
The one-day interval provides extra flexibility than a 24-hour time restrict and permits vacationers to take a take a look at any time the day earlier than departure. For instance, vacationers with a 5 p.m. flight on a Friday can board with a adverse take a look at taken at 8 a.m. on Thursday.

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Do I must take one other take a look at after arrival?
The CDC recommends all inbound air passengers get one other viral take a look at three to 5 days after arrival, and says unvaccinated vacationers ought to quarantine for seven days after journey.

Do I must put on a masks on the aircraft?
Sure. The federal masks mandate, which requires vacationers to masks up on airplanes, trains, buses and in airports and prepare stations, was extended through March 18.

Vacationers who refuse to put on masks could face fines starting from a minimal of $500 to $3,000 for repeat offenders, though the mandate does carve out exemptions for vacationers beneath the age of two and other people with sure disabilities.

► Federal masks mandate to be prolonged:Be prepared to mask up on planes through mid-March

Observe USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz.

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