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Yes, the CDC has lifted COVID-19 testing requirements for international air travel

Air travelers arriving in the U.S. no longer need to provide a negative COVID-19 test taken a day before departure.
Credit: CGiHeart - stock.adobe.com

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has regularly updated requirements and recommendations for travel both domestically and internationally. 

Since Jan. 2021, the CDC has required people who fly internationally to test negative for COVID-19 before they fly back to the U.S. Now, Google Trends data shows people are asking if the CDC lifted that requirement. 

THE QUESTION

Did the CDC lift its COVID-19 testing requirement for international air travel?

THE SOURCE

THE ANSWER

This is true.

Yes, the CDC lifted its COVID-19 testing requirement for international air travel.

WHAT WE FOUND

On June 10, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it would lift the requirement for air travelers arriving in the U.S. from a foreign country to show a negative COVID-19 test result from the day before departure, or proof of recovery from a COVID-19 infection within the last 90 days.

The agency could decide to reinstate the requirement in the future, it said in its order.

“CDC monitors circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants around the world and can enhance prevention measures, including reinstituting testing requirements, as warranted, including if a variant emerges that may present increased risk of severe illness and death,” the CDC said.

The change, which rescinded a requirement that had been in place since Jan. 26, 2021, took effect on June 12. 

The only remaining COVID-19 mitigation measure the CDC requires for U.S. citizens and permanent residents traveling to the United States is for the passenger to provide their contact information to the airline they’re traveling with. Airlines have to retain this information for 30 days and give the data to the CDC on request.

“The purpose of collecting this information is to identify and locate passengers who may have been exposed to a person with a communicable disease for public health follow-up,” the CDC says of the requirement.

As of June 14, 2022, the CDC still requires proof of vaccination from all non-citizen non-immigrant passengers before they can travel to the United States, the U.S. Department of State says. People subject to this requirement do not need to present a negative COVID-19 test before travel.

The CDC still recommends that travelers get tested for COVID-19 before departure and wear masks in airplanes and airports, although neither is required to fly. U.S. citizens and permanent residents are not required to provide proof of vaccination before arrival in the U.S., although the CDC strongly recommends all travelers be fully vaccinated.

More from VERIFY: No, ‘pandemic treaty’ would not give WHO control over governments during a global health crisis

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