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From implementing HEPA filters to blocking middle seats, airlines implemented dozens of measures to enhance the cleanliness and safety of their planes during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Luckily, in 2022, the global situation has seen significant improvement, and the restrictions that were once in place for both domestic and international travel have now been rescinded.
As of June 12, 2022, international travelers into the United States will no longer need to provide a negative COVID-19 test before entry.
Along with that considerable change, the major U.S. airlines no longer require passengers to wear masks inflight or at the airport. Some international destinations, however, will still require passengers to wear a mask.
Do I need a COVID-19 test to fly domestic?
The CDC has updated its recommendations, stating that vaccinated travelers flying domestically do not need to get tested prior to travel. It's suggested that unvaccinated travelers flying within the U.S. should get tested one to three days prior to travel.
What to know about international travel testing requirements
In 2022, most countries have eased or dropped completely any testing requirements for entry. That said, some countries won’t allow unvaccinated travelers to enter the country at all, while others require proof of a negative COVID-19 test and/or quarantine for entry.
The heat map below will indicate each country's travel restrictions, based on your vaccination status. This is the most updated information as of August 2022.
How to get a COVID-19 test for travel
If you need to take a COVID-19 test before flying, there are more testing options than ever before. Many airlines have made it easier to find a test before travel as several destinations require proof of a negative result upon arrival — or even before you board. You can also schedule a test outside of the options offered by your airline. Many drug stores, urgent care facilities and hospitals offer coronavirus testing, and it often comes free of charge. You could save a lot of money by coordinating your own tests, especially if you're traveling in groups.
However, keep these factors in mind when scheduling your COVID-19 test:
- Check age requirements. If you're traveling with children, they may be exempt from taking a COVID-19 test for travel. You'll want to confirm the minimum age required to take a test.
- Know when your results arrive. When you're taking a coronavirus test, time is of the essence. There will be a specific time frame for taking your test and receiving results, so you'll want to make sure your results will come back on time.
- Make sure that your destination approves the test. There are several types of tests out there, including rapid antigen and PCR. You'll want to make sure your destination approves of the specific test you're taking — otherwise, you may have to take another test or even face a mandatory quarantine. For example, many destinations do not accept antibody testing as an official test.
- Confirm travel restrictions. Some destinations still don't accept any international travelers without a formal quarantine. Ensure that proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results are sufficient for entry into the country you're visiting.
- Schedule your appointment as early as possible. While testing options are certainly not as limited as before, slots will still be limited. You'll want to schedule your appointment as soon as you've booked your travel plans.
For the most accurate information, confirm with the tourism board and any official government resources from your destination to get a COVID-19 test for travel.
Does travel insurance cover pandemic-related travel costs?
Use a credit card with trip interruption insurance when paying for flights, hotels or other travel purchases; card travel insurance could reimburse you for unforeseen costs due to coronavirus.
Some credit cards may reimburse various travel expenses if you need to change or cancel a trip due to COVID-19 — especially when you aren't able to cancel through your airline. Your card's insurance policy also may protect you and other travelers on your itinerary from unexpected costs incurred while traveling and falling sick, in case you need hospitalization, air transportation to a hospital or an extension to your stay due to quarantine (be sure to read your card's benefits guide to understand what is and isn't covered by your policy.)
The following cards offer robust travel insurance policies.
Trip Interruption/Trip Cancellation Insurance
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per per trip||$550|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per per trip||$95|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||See terms||$695|
Frequently asked questions
No, you don't need a COVID-19 test to fly domestically in the United States.
No, you are no longer required to get a COVID-19 test to fly back to the United States.
Fully vaccinated travelers will need to be tested for COVID-19 before leaving the United States only if their destination requires it. Be sure to check your destination's most up to date requirements before you go.
If you test positive for COVID-19 before a flight, do not go to the airport. Stay home and self isolate, and see if you can use your credit card's trip insurance to reschedule. While this is largely the recommendation, note that it is not legally required that you cancel or reschedule your flight if you test positive for COVID-19.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here