New US COVID-19 Travel Policy Goes Into Effect January 26, 2021

Starting on January 26, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States will be expanding their negative COVID-19 testing requirement to include all air passengers entering the United States. The aim of the new US COVID-19 Travel Policy is to slow the spread of the virus within the United States and to prevent new strands that have been appearing from getting into the country. The major airlines in the United States have shown their support for the new COVID-19 Travel Policy and will be working with the US government to enforce the policy. This new policy is inline with the COVID-19 travel policies for many other countries around the world, which I recently outlined in an article on my blog that I have linked to below.

US COVID-19 Travel Policy

If you are planning on visiting the United States for travel in the foreseeable future, or you are a US citizen planning on traveling outside the United States for business or pleasure, you will want to make sure that you are familiar with the new US COVID-19 Travel Policy so that you don’t run into issues getting into the country. When the policy begins on January 26th, all travelers who plan on entering the United States, either as a visitor to the country or as a citizen returning from international travel, will be required to meet the following requirements:

  • Travelers will still be allowed to enter the United States by air unless they are traveling from the EU, China, Brazil, UK, Ireland and Iran.  The land borders with Canada and Mexico remain closed and all cruise ships are still prohibited from operating in US waters.
  • Visitors to the United States by air will now be required to get a COVID-19 test within 3-days of the departure of their flight to the United States and provide lab result documentation that shows a negative test result for COVID-19. Airlines will be required to verify all negative COVID-19 test results prior to departure and any passenger without the proper test result documentation will not be allowed to board.
  • All visitors will be required to quarantine for 7-days upon arrival in the United States.
  • The government is requesting that all visitors be retested 3-5 days after arriving in the United States.
  • Once the new US COVID-19 Travel Policy has been followed and you are inside the United States, all visitors should be aware of the State-by-State COVID-19 Travel Restrictions.

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Categories: General Travel, North America, North America Travel Advice, Travel, Travel Health, United StatesTags: , , , , , , , ,


  1. Holy crap. That does not bode well for any Americans hoping to travel abroad. Suppose you catch COVID abroad, test positive, and end up with a case of long COVID? I know someone who’s on her 20-something’th day of the illness. It just won’t go away. If she were outside the US, she could be stuck there, at huge expense. I wonder what travel insurance would cover in a case like that…

    • Yeah, huge bummer! I think our best hope is that getting vaccinated will open up travel. Who knows when those will be widely distributed though. So sorry to hear about your friend. I hope she recovers soon. That is scary stuff!

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