air travel

Do You Need a Vaccine to Fly? CDC Air Travel Guidelines and What Else to Know

Overall, COVID travel requirements for U.S. citizens and visitors have one main difference

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

As the omicron variant surges, questions are swirling online about Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel guidance, specifically regarding testing and vaccines.

Specific requirements and guidelines largely depend on where you're located and where you're heading.

Here's what you need to know:

If you're fully vaccinated and planning to travel within the U.S., you won't need to be tested for COVID-19 or self-quarantine, according to the latest guidance from the CDC.

But those who aren't fully vaccinated are advised to get tested with a viral test one to three days before embarking on a trip.

After traveling, people are asked to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, and if such symptoms develop, get tested and isolate.

If you're traveling internationally, whether a COVID-19 test is required depends on your destination as rules and regulations vary widely. The CDC strongly recommends that people don't leave the country until they're fully vaccinated.

When returning to the U.S. from another country, you'll be required to show a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than one day before traveling, even if you're fully vaccinated.

Those who recently recovered from COVID-19 have another option.

They can travel with documentation of recovery such as a viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure and a letter from a health care provider stating they were cleared to travel, according to the CDC.

Overall, COVID travel requirements for U.S. citizens and visitors have one main difference.

Non-U.S. citizens must show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before flying into the U.S. from a foreign country, according to a policy implemented by the Biden administration Nov. 8.

Airlines also may have their own vaccine and testing policies, making it especially important to check your airline's website before taking a trip.

To strengthen contact tracing, all air passengers to the U.S. are required to provide contact information before boarding flights to the country, health officials said.

Regardless of your destination or whether you've been vaccinated, wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains and other modes of public transportation traveling to, within, or out of the U.S.

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