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What do US Travellers need to know?
What types of SARS-CoV-2 tests are acceptable for entry to the US?
What information must be included on the test result?
Are you fully vaccinated for air travel to the US?
Acceptable proof of COVID-19 vaccination

Earlier this week, on Monday 8th November, the United States ended their travel ban which had been in place for a year and a half due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is a huge relief for the travel and tourism industry and for families that have been separated by the rules since early 2020. 

Does Project Screen by Prenetics have a Covid-19 travel test suitable for US travel?
Yes! Last week, Project Screen launched the Observed Lateral Flow Antigen test – an at-home lateral flow test kit which includes a Telehealth consultation. Our Lateral Flow Antigen test kits are UK Government listed and FDA authorised under an EUA.

What do US Travellers need to know?

  • All air passengers (aged 2 or older) planning to travel to the US, will need to take a pre-departure COVID-19 viral test (either PCR or Lateral Flow Antigen) before flying, also known as a Fit to Fly test. Passengers must show their negative result to the airline before boarding the flight. The requirements are different based on vaccination status:
    • Fully vaccinated: A pre-departure Covid-19 test must be taken no more than 3 days before the flight’s departure date if you show proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
    • Not fully vaccinated: A pre-departure Covid-19 test must be taken no more than 1 day before the flight’s departure date if you do not show proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
  • If you have recently recovered from Covid-19 you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from Covid-19 (i.e. your positive Covid-19 test result no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure date and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).

What types of SARS-CoV-2 tests are acceptable for entry to the US?

The CDC requirements state that you must be tested with a viral test that could be either a lateral flow antigen, PCR or RT-LAMP test. The test used must be authorised for use by the relevant national authority for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in the country where the test is administered. 

Are self-tests or home tests accepted for entry to the US?

You can use a self-test if it meets the following criteria:

  • The test must be a SARS-CoV-2 viral test with Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) from the FDA.
  • The testing procedure must include a telehealth service.
  • The telehealth provider must confirm your identity, observe the sample collection and testing procedures, confirm the test result, and issue a report that meets the requirements of the CDC’s Order (see below).
  • Airlines and other aircraft operators must be able to review and confirm your identity and the test result details. You must also be able to present the documentation of test results to US officials at the port of entry and local/state health departments.

What information must be included on the test result?

A test result must be in the form of written documentation (paper or digital). The documentation must include: 

  1. Type of test (indicating PCR or lateral flow antigen test)
  2. Entity issuing the result (e.g. laboratory, healthcare entity, telehealth service)
    • Sample collection date:
    • A negative test result must show the sample was taken no more than 3 days before the flight for air passengers who have proof of being fully vaccinated, or no more than 1 day before the flight if the air passenger is not fully vaccinated.
    • A positive test result for documentation of recovery from Covid-19 muse show the sample was taken within the 90 days before the flight.
    • Information that identifies the person (full name plus at least one other identifier, such as date of birth or passport number)
    • Test result

Are you fully vaccinated for air travel to the US?

You are considered fully vaccinated: 

  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted single-dose vaccine
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted two-dose vaccine
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an accepted Covid-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial 
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of Navavax (or Covovax) Covid-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a phase 3 clinical trial 
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received any two doses of any ‘mix-and-match’ combination of accepted Covid-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart. 

If you do not meet these requirements, you are not considered fully vaccinated.

Acceptable proof of COVID-19 vaccination

Documentation TypeExamples
Verifiable records (digital or paper)Vaccination certificate with QR code1, digital pass via Smartphone application with QR code1 (e.g., United Kingdom National Health Service COVID Pass, European Union Digital COVID Certificate)
Non-verifiable paper recordsPrintout of COVID-19 vaccination record or a COVID-19 vaccination certificate issued at national or subnational level or by an authorized vaccine provider (e.g., the CDC vaccination card)
Non-verifiable digital recordsDigital photos of vaccination card or record, downloaded vaccine record or vaccination certificate from official source (e.g., public health agency, government agency, or other authorized vaccine provider), or a mobile phone application without QR code 1

1. The QR code in a verifiable vaccination record links to information confirming the credential was generated from an immunization record in an official database and is protected from tampering.

All forms of proof of COVID-19 vaccination must have:

  • Personal identifiers (full name plus at least one other identifier such as date of birth or passport number) that match the personal identifiers on the passenger’s passport or other travel documents
  • Name of official source issuing the record (e.g., public health agency, government agency, or other authorized vaccine provider)
  • Vaccine manufacturer and date(s) of vaccination
Day Lateral Flow Test