The State Department and the Centers for Disease Control recommend U.S. citizens consider postponing all non-essential travel abroad. If travel cannot be deferred, all air passengers aged two and older, including U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, that are flying to the United States must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of departure, or proof of recovery from the COVID-19 virus within the last 90 days. Proof can consist of a recent positive viral test and a letter from a healthcare provider or a public health official stating that the passenger is cleared to travel.
In a State Department special briefing, Acting Assistant Secretary Ian Brownlee from the Bureau of Consular Affairs said all travelers going abroad must be prepared to have their plans seriously disrupted. If a U.S. citizen cannot easily access a COVID-19 test or tests positive at departure, their return to the United States could be postponed for several weeks. During that time, they will be responsible for covering their own lodging and medical costs.
As a result, Brownlee advised all U.S. citizens to reconsider any plans to travel abroad. If a trip cannot be postponed, travelers are encouraged to create a plan B in the event of an unanticipated, extended stay abroad.
Director of the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine Dr. Marty Cetron said these measures were introduced to combat the increasing dangers of the virus and its variants.
“The emergence of the new variants has also highlighted a new challenge in this race that we have with infection versus vaccination.”
Cetron said U.S. residents should postpone discretionary travel until the virus can be controlled or vaccination strategies are accelerated.
“The State Department is committed to upholding the administration’s efforts to combat the pandemic through prudent, science-driven measures,” said Brownlee. “Many countries are updating their requirements for travel, given the evolving nature of the pandemic. And today, to keep us all safe, the United States joins them.”