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COVID home tests accepted for international flights to US, CDC says

A self-test for COVID-19 before traveling back to the U.S. must include use of a telehealth service.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says home COVID-19 tests are now acceptable for people flying internationally into the U.S.

The guidance page, which was updated Friday, says a self-test can be used if it meets the following criteria (from the CDC website):

  • The test must be a SARS-CoV-2 viral test (nucleic acid amplification test [NAAT] or antigen test) with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • The testing procedure must include a telehealth service affiliated with the manufacturer of the test that provides real-time supervision remotely through an audio and video connection. Some FDA-authorized self-tests that include a telehealth service may require a prescription.
  • The telehealth provider must confirm the person’s identity, observe the specimen collection and testing procedures, confirm the test result, and issue a report that meets the requirements of CDC’s Order.
  • Airlines and other aircraft operators must be able to review and confirm the person’s identity and the test result details. The passenger must also be able to present the documentation of test results to U.S. officials at the port of entry and local/state health departments, if requested.

If there is a positive test, the telehealth provider is asked to provide the results to local public health authorities and to advise the traveler not to fly until they complete isolation or quarantine subject to local requirements.

This guidance is only for people coming into the U.S. from another country. Requirements for traveling from the U.S. to an international destination may differ, based on that country's guidance.

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