U.S. Updates Travel Requirements –Negative COVID-19 Test within 1 Day of Travel to U.S.

U.S. Updates Travel Requirements –Negative COVID-19 Test within 1 Day of Travel to U.S.

On December 2, 2021, U.S. President Biden announced new actions to combat COVID-19, which included an update that all travelers to the U.S. must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test no more than 1 day prior to travel by air to the U.S. (as compared to 3 days prior to travel as was included in the original Presidential Proclamation effective November 8, 2021). 

The effective date of the new COVID-19 testing requirement is reported to be as of 12:01am EST on Monday, December 6, 2021.

The conditions of the Presidential Proclamation, effective November 8, 2021, requiring full COVID-19 vaccination for entry to the U.S. by non-U.S. Citizens/non-U.S. Permanent Residents remain in effect; the only change is when the negative COVID-19 test must be received prior to travel to the U.S. 

Specific reference in the announcement is as follows:
Strengthening global pre-departure testing protocols: Early next week, the United States will tighten pre-departure testing protocols by requiring all inbound international travelers to test within one day of departure globally, regardless of nationality or vaccination status. This tighter testing timeline provides an added degree of public health protection as scientists continue to assess the Omicron variant.”

A full copy of President Biden’s December 2 announcement is available here.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have also updated its “Required Testing before Air Travel to the U.S.” webpage:
“If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States. You must show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight.”

CDC has also updated its quick reference guide “Traveling to the United States From a Foreign Country by Air” to reflect the new testing timeline.

The MIT “Major Immigration Alerts & Updates” webpage will continue to be updated as additional information becomes available.  Please do not hesitate to contact your advisor in the MIT ISO or ISchO with any questions.

Separate from this announcement, international students and scholars are advised to review additional guidance on travel provided by the MIT International Students Office (ISO) “Travel Guidance – Fall/Winter Break 2021-2022” and the ISO “Visas and Travel” webpage, and guidance provided by the MIT International Scholars Office.