Travel Tuesday with Danielle ~ COVID -19 Home Test Kits Approved By The CDC For U.S. Entry Requirement

by Danielle Garrett of PlanIt Travel Designs for The Aha! Connection

The CDC has approved the use of Covid-19 self-test kits, which will help ease the burden of the U.S. re-entry testing requirement.  On January 12, 2021 the CDC announced an order for all passengers arriving to the U.S. from a foreign country to test 3 days prior to departure.  Passengers must test negative (with either a NAAT or rapid antigen test) to board their flight.  Many hotels and resorts are providing on-site testing for their guests, but the self-test kits will further alleviate stress for travelers (especially for those hoping to stay in a more independent/private setting like an Airbnb). 

Not all home testing kits qualify, so it is IMPORTANT to understand the requirements.  As of May 7, travelers can use a self-administered test if it meets the below criteria:

  • The test must be either a viral antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), such as a polymerase chain (PCR) test, reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) test, or a transcription-mediated amplification test.
  • The test must have Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • The testing procedure must include a telehealth video call during which someone authorized by the manufacturer supervises the testing procedure. (Note that some FDA-authorized self-tests that include a telehealth service may require a prescription, according to the CDC.)
  • The telehealth provider must issue a report confirming the patient’s identity, the name of the laboratory or healthcare entity, the type of test, and the specimen collection date.
  • Airlines must then verify the results report.

Click here for more info on why the BinaxNOW Covid-19 Antigen Self-Test Kit looks to be the best option currently on the market!

IMPORTANT TO NOTE:  Vaccinated travelers are NOT exempt from this requirement, so a Covid-19 negative test is currently still required from a fully vaccinated traveler to re-enter the U.S. when traveling internationally.


Please remember to travel responsibly, wear your mask and do not travel unnecessarily if you are elderly or immune-compromised! And remember to check your destination’s travel restrictions/requirements before and during planning, as well as double-checking before departure!

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