PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Beginning December 6 at 12:01 AM, new COVID-19 testing requirements for travelers to the United States will come into effect. Travelers over 2 years old must provide a negative COVID-19 test up to one day before departure, compared to the previous three-day period allowed.
Mesa resident David Hrizak and his family left Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix this morning for a birthday trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. But when he returns next weekend, he will have to follow these slightly different testing guidelines. And for some who are already abroad, following these new rules can be a little tricky.
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“People are not used to all these rules and regulations,” said Skyline Travel AZ founder Jennifer Pearce. “They’re used to doing everything in a jiffy. They’re on their way and can do whatever they want. They’ve got their passports and it’s time to go.”
Pearce says it’s helpful that these COVID-19 tests can be rapid antigen tests, rather than PCR tests that can take days to get a result. Pearce also says to check with your hotel abroad, as chances are they offer the necessary one-day tests.
“If they go to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, or just in general, the Mexican resorts jumped right on board,” Pearce said. “They test at the hotel and they get the results back and printed.”
Top US officials are considering requiring that everyone entering the country be tested for COVID-19 the day before their flight and that all travelers – including US citizens and permanent residents – be retested after returning home, regardless of vaccination status, sources have said. have been told to CNN with the discussions.
These negative COVID-19 tests do not have to be within 24 hours of travel; they must be from the previous calendar day or earlier only. But while the timeline may now be speeding up for testing, travelers like Hrizak see no impact on future interest in overseas travel.
“I don’t think the travel will do any harm because people now have so much withheld demand from the last 20 or 22 months,” Hrizak said. “It won’t slow things down. Three days, one day, we’ll do what we have to do.”
Travelers are not required to test negative upon arrival, although the CDC does recommend getting another test within 3-5 days of arrival. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days are not required to show a negative COVID-19 test before traveling if they have a letter from an insurance company or public health official stating that they are authorized to travel.
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