Updated January 23, 2021 to include President Biden’s Executive Order about this topic.
Starting January 28th, 2021 the US government, specifically the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), is requiring all persons entering the USA to show a negative Covid-19 test or prove they’ve already had the virus. Although I understand this move, I am not sure how the USA can legally bar its own citizens from entering their own country. The enforcement of this rule is actually being placed on the airlines, as they are the ones required to obtain this information BEFORE being allowed to board the plane. I cannot imagine me showing up at a border or port of entry and being turned away.
This is President Biden’s Executive order , and it actually touches on this. Basically he states the agency needs to explore ways to allow citizens in coming from countries that a COVID test is not feasible.
“(C) the feasibility of implementing alternative and sufficiently protective public health measures, such as testing, self-quarantine, and self-isolation on arrival, for travelers entering the United States from countries where COVID-19 tests are inaccessible, particularly where such inaccessibility of tests would affect the ability of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to return to the United States; “
There are two possible options for entry.
-Show a negative PCR test taken within 3 days of boarding plane.
-Show proof of recovery. Recovery means you’ve had the virus and now have antibodies . If you go this route you must show positive test results from within 90 days and a signed “clearance to fly” from a health official.
Either route you go you must also sign an “attestation” form. Just saying your documents are genuine and you understand the policy.
The Early Reactions
As of right now this is really putting a halt to many peoples plans. I am currently in Mexico , partly on a Hyatt Mattress Run , and spoke to several people that cut their trips short because of the new rule. I was not able to find places to get tested in the areas I am in, so good thing I fall into the second category of travelers. Since I had COVID, I can show my results from the last 90 days, as well as a clearance from my doctor ,and that will suffice. I do suspect that major hotel chains and airlines are scrambling to set up testing to keep people traveling. In my humble opinion this should have been done a long time ago,( The testing requirements ) but as a friend of mine says, “they didn’t ask me” .
I am currently on a trip, like I said, and I used my American Air voucher from when they Ruined my trip to RIO . I found really cheap first class tickets and since it was short flights I decided I could handle it, but I assure you, this will be the last time! Anyway, I never received an email from them telling me anything, even though my trip is to arrive home 3 days after rule starts.
Delta, on the other hand sent me an email today about my trip to RIO in 3 weeks, and it was very informative and helpful! I LOVE DELTA!
This step should have been done a long time ago, so now the travel industry has to “re-tool” so to speak and meet these new requirements. With already stretched resources, this is bad. Airlines I don’t feel sorry for, but hotels in foreign countries that rely on US visitors will have to pay the cost to set up testing as part of stays if they want people to keep coming in from the USA.
Like I mentioned earlier, I can see a bit of a mess the first few days, legal wise. I know I would throw a fit if my own country would not let me come in no matter the reason. What if I were really sick and wanted to get care in the USA ? I am sure all this will be ironed out before its all said and done.
Good news is, we are finally on the mend it seems! Many people have antibodies from having the virus, and others are getting vaccinated. I cannot wait to get back to normal again!
Thanks for reading and PLEASE, TRAVEL MORE!