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New COVID-19 Guidelines Require International Travelers Show Proof Of Negative Test Before Flying To U.S.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- All international travelers bound for the United States will soon be required to show proof of a COVID test that comes back negative.

If you fly internationally for business or for pleasure after Jan. 26, you'll be required to carve out extra time in your agenda to get a COVID test.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put the airlines in charge, saying without a negative COVID test taken in that foreign land, you'll be barred from boarding a U.S.-bound flight.

"People are gonna have a hard time getting the test, so it's gonna make people probably not even going to fly if they have to go through all that," traveler Ivan Montesdeoca said.


"I think it will hopefully cut down on the number of cases that come into the country," said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital.

Horovitz likes the rule but expects growing pains.

"There probably will be some confusion about kind of test is acceptable when you return to the country," he told CBS2's Dave Carlin.

The CDC says it must be a viral test, not an antibody or some other types of tests. It must be done within 72 hours of departure with paper or electronic proof brought to the airport. If you've been vaccinated, you are still not exempt.

"I'm amazed that it's taken this long to happen," said CBS travel editor Peter Greenberg.

Greenberg says this is the beginning of tighter regulations and carrying proof of negative tests and full vaccinations, so do your homework before you go.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

"Every traveler needs to check to make sure that the test they're taking is going to be approved when they arrive or they're not coming," he said.

Finding a test abroad may initially be tricky in some areas, but many airlines, hotels and tourism agencies are compiling helpful information.

But if all this makes you think you rethink your plans and you decide to simply stay home, the CDC probably considers that just as well.


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