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  • CDC Issues New Requirement for Air Travelers Arriving to the United States

On January 12, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Order requiring all air passengers arriving to the U.S. from a foreign country to get tested no more than three days before their flight departs. Travelers must then provide proof of the negative qualifying test result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. The Order goes into effect on January 26, 2021.

The Order applies to all air passengers, two years of age or older, traveling into the U.S., including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. Airlines are required to confirm a COVID-19 negative qualifying test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before boarding. If a passenger chooses not to provide a test result or documentation of recovery, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger. Federal law enforcement personnel on official duty, U.S. military traveling under competent orders, and airline crew members are exempt from the order.

Additionally, the Order specifies that testing must be performed using a viral test, nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), or antigen. The test result documentation must include information that identifies the person, a specimen collection date, and the type of test. A negative test result must indicate that testing was performed within the three days before the flight. A positive test result must demonstrate the test was performed within the three months prior to the flight.

All air travelers arriving to the U.S. must also complete and submit an attestation form. A parent or guardian should complete attestation on behalf of any passenger aged two to 17. An authorized individual may attest on behalf of any passengers who are unable to attest for themselves (as a result of physical/mental impairment). Any airline or passenger who fails to comply with the requirements of the Order may be subject to criminal penalties.

Please contact Greg Mitchell, Nikki Parrott or Frost Brown Todd’s Insurance Regulation & Risk Management Group if you would like additional information regarding the Order or assistance with regulatory issues/corrective measures, product development or compliance related to travel insurance, travel medical, travel protection plans, waivers, travel assistance services, licensing, including limited lines licensing, third party administration and claims, or COVID-19- related travel restrictions.