In November 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidance for people traveling internationally by air. The updated recommendations say that those who travel abroad during the pandemic should get tested for COVID-19 twice: one to three days before your flight departs and three to five days after your flight home. This should go without saying, but if your pre-travel test is positive, the CDC says you should not travel. Many destinations, both international and domestic (like Grenada and St. Kitts) are requiring travelers to present negative COVID-19 test results in order to gain entry, so travelers may have to take a pre-travel test anyways, but it’s still helpful for the CDC to share this new guidance.
The CDC also recommends staying home for seven days after you travel even if your post-travel test is negative. If you do not get tested when you return home, they say it’s safest to stay home for 14 days after travel.
According to the CDC, “testing before and after travel can reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Testing does not eliminate all risk, but when paired with a period of staying at home and everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at destinations.”
These are not hard and fast rules you must follow, but rather guidelines and recommendations the CDC is sharing to help keep travelers – and the places they visit – safe and to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. We should all do our part to keep ourselves and those around us safe and healthy.