CDC accepting COVID-19 home tests for international flights to US

Travelers flying to the U.S. now have another testing option.  

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its COVID-19 testing requirements to accept home tests for international travelers.

All travelers flying into the U.S. from another country are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test no more than three days before departure, according to the CDC web page. Passengers must provide documentation of their negative test to their airline before boarding.

Now, the CDC is accepting home tests -- or self tests -- for those negative test results. However, the tests have to meet some specifications. 

According to the CDC, the home tests have to be either a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) or an antigen test approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration.  

A telehealth provider affiliated with the test manufacturer is also required to supervise the traveler’s self test remotely in real time and write a report, confirming the person’s identity, their testing procedure and their result, according to the CDC website.

Travelers must then be able to present their test result to airlines and U.S. officials at their port of entry, if requested.


Though it is now easier to travel into the U.S., the CDC currently recommends against international travel.  

"International travel poses additional risks and even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new COVID-19 variants," the agency says on its website. "CDC recommends delaying international travel until you are fully vaccinated."

The CDC first announced that international travelers flying into the U.S. would be required to provide negative COVID-19 tests in January.

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