Testing for covid is ever-changing.  Please check back 4 weeks prior departure to see if there were changes made.


 How soon can I travel after recovering from the coronavirus?

The CDC said anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus should not travel until a full 10 days after their symptoms started. If they didn’t have symptoms, they should wait 10 full days after their positive test was taken.

Previous guidance gave more wiggle room — the CDC earlier said people should avoid travel for a full 10 days, but if they had to travel on days six through 10, they needed to wear a well-fitting mask around others. An update last week removed that language and simply said not to travel for a full 10 days.   People who have recovered from the virus but develop symptoms should not travel, the CDC said; they should isolate and consult with a health-care provider for recommendations on testing.

Do I still need to take a coronavirus test to travel if I just had covid?

If you’re traveling internationally and need to return to the United States, the CDC recommends not taking a test for 90 days after infection. That is because people who have recovered from the virus could keep testing positive for as long as three months. As long as travelers have proof that they tested positive within the past 90 days, meet the criteria to travel and have clearance from a medical professional, they don’t need to take a new test to fly back into the United States.

What documents do I need to show proof of recovery?

You will need two key items: proof of the original positive test and a letter that says you’re clear to travel. Those two components together are considered “documentation of recovery.” But it’s not as simple as showing a photo of a home test and dashing off a note explaining your timeline.

The positive test proof needs to be in the form of a lab result of a viral test that includes the type of test, the issuer of the results, the date the sample was collected and identifying information about the traveler. Home tests that include a telemedicine component — where a provider confirms the identity of the person taking the test, watches the self-test, confirms the result and issues a report — are allowed.

After you have obtained the test result, you also need the letter. That must come from a health-care provider or a public health official — on official letterhead — and it needs to say that you are clear to travel based on CDC’s travel guidance. That includes being free of symptoms and far enough removed from a positive test.

The letter needs to include the name, address and phone number of the person who signed it as well as identifying information about the traveler — such as name and birthday — that matches travel documents.

Do I have to pay to get proof of recovery?

It depends. MDAnywhere charges $69 for the process of issuing clearance to travel (though there’s no fee if a traveler isn’t eligible and needs to be referred to another health-care provider, Tarsia said). Another telemedicine service, QuickMD, said the consultation costs $75.

It is worth checking to see if your insurance will cover the cost, or if your primary care physician can provide the letter you need.

Some travelers who tested positive overseas and received a letter from public health officials in the country where they self-isolated told The Washington Post that they did not have to pay for the letter.

How long is proof of recovery valid?

According to the CDC, the positive test sample needs to have been taken no more than 90 days before the flight leaves a foreign country for the United States.

Will documentation of recovery work for international travel?

Not everywhere. Some countries might allow proof of recovery in lieu of a negative test — Canada, for example, accepts proof of a positive test taken at least 11 days earlier and no more than 180 days before visiting. Tarsia said he advises patients to check on entry requirements with the State Department.

“Different countries that you’re traveling to may have different requirements that are more stringent,” he said.

Dec 7. 2022 update

Traveling back to USA you now need a negative Covid test to enter. The test must be done 24 hours from your initial flight home! Your transfer connection cannot exceed 48 hours. Every airline website now has a Covid resource tab. Read these.

Antigen tests are OK, but rapid PCR has the fastest results. AFS will arrange test on your trip 24 hours before departure home. Your other options are to google local pharmacies, (airports now offer convenient testing, but expensive) or bring your own mail-in kit. Be sure it’s CDC approved. Must be performed on phone in front of telehealth proctor. Walgreens, CVS, etc. sell these for between $14 – $24… InteliSwab CV Rapid, Binax Now, Quick Vue, Pixel and more.


Rapid Result COVID-19 PCR Tests –  Rules are changing daily!   At this time, we must rely on each airlines policy. Read Covid rules at the top of airline website up to a week before departure. Every airline and country differ. Just prior, we will send you final AFS departure letter with instructions specific to your trip.  Airlines may require online form to complete. Store this on your phone and bring a paper copy. Again, always bring paper Covid vaccine card with you.

Non-vaccinated people – Under a new Biden dictate travelers must arrange on own CV test at destination within 24 hours before departure home.  You must show negative test to enter back to USA.

As of January 26, 2021, a rapid PCR test is needed to board airlines and or enter most countries.  We hope this will be eliminated by the time your trip goes. RT-PCR (by nose swab) is only test excepted.

  • PCR Test – This is PCR test with Rapid Test Results within 24 hours.  Most urgent care places offer these.  Read Covid news below.  All tests are free or covered by insurance, but these may have a line to wait. Now appointments are taken. To get fast with no wait, make appointment at private lab, but can be pricey. There are now thousands of labs around US. Also, more testing sites opening daily with easy drive through. Just google “Covid PCR test near me”.
  • At present, some international airlines may require a negative Covid test within 96 to 72 hours of departure!  Read your airline website.  This may change as rules are always being revised or eliminated by departure. Don’t stress, just refer to this if you need it. I’ve done 4 free PCR test runs with no problems.  Millions of passengers have gotten their PCR test to fly. You can too!  Call your healthcare provider or Urgent Care near you. Or Google “free no cost Covid testing near me”.  Most state and federal programs provide this.  Rural areas are more challenging. You may need to drive to an appointment in a nearby city.  All our clients prefer Urgent Care Centers over Walgreens and CVS because they are fast an accurate. . They will bill your insurance company.  (Best trick – if you say you may have been “exposed to a Covid person” or if you feel “symptoms” like fatigue or say CDC recommended, it must be free.)   Call or email to get appointment. Schedule test within your 72 – 96 hours departure window, usually 3 days prior for email result needed in 24 hours.  This way you still have a backup day in case you get a false positive. Bring printed copy.  Also screenshot copy on cell phone. Test must read “PCR”. (We’ve had nobody test positive yet, if so, call us 770-432-8225. Many tests are inaccurate and a re-test shows negative.)

Outbound –  Read specific airline rules on website, also any rules on connections in transit. Those vaccinated may still need to show a test.

Homebound – Airline and US Customs now require negative Antigen test to board departure flight to USA.  Antigen tests are easy and affordable.  (We hope this is eliminated by your trip date.) A few airlines instead require a PCR test to fly home and US Customs will accept this.  Be sure to check with your airline.

If an Antigen test is necessary within 72 hours of departure, we can help arrange test for our group in each country. Details later by email.  New mail in-home kits approved by CDC is an option.  You can buy kit to bring and do there for return into USA. The CDC only certifies some kits (ask airline).   Our travelers have returned to USA and said they loved NAVICA app from emed.com,   They range for $19-$70, but you should be tech savvy.

Other ways to get an antigen test for your departure home include getting information from your airline, your hotel, local pharmacies, US Embassesy page, Google Maps Covid testing sites and many airports now have test sites.