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COVID: what you should know if you come to the US or travel abroad

Immunization against covid-19 is advancing unevenly around the world, imposing rules for international travel.

The following is a comprehensive guide on what you should know, and do, if you are coming to the United States or if you are traveling from the country abroad.

For travelers to the United States

Since January 26, there is an order in force whereby:

Every passenger who arrives by plane to the United States must fill out a form before boarding the plane at the airport of origin that attests under oath or that they have had a negative covid-19 test (carried out three days before the day of the flight ) or proof that you have recovered from covid-19.

This form is a declaration that must be completed for each passenger aged 2 years and over. The father, mother, or guardian traveling with the minor (considered minor until 17) or with a person unable to fill out the form on their own must fill it out on their behalf.

Every passenger traveling must fill out this declaration: the measure is in force for visitors from all countries.

Passenger declaration requirement

The declaration that the passenger must fill out is the following:

I (the passenger’s name) have read the disclosed information, pertinent to my obligation to test negative for COVID-19 or have recovered from COVID-19 after have had the SARS-CoV-2 infection and have the authorization to travel, so that an aircraft can board departing from a foreign country bound for the United States.

Select one of the options that applies:

I attest that I tested negative for COVID-19 prior to departure. It was a viral test made with a sample taken from me during the 3 calendar days prior to the flight departure.

I attest that I have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months (90 days), or the period specified in the guidelines CDC reports, after having tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and received clearance to travel from a licensed health care provider, or a public health official.

On behalf of (the person’s name, if he is a minor or someone not able to fill out the form himself) I attest that this person has had a negative COVID-19 test result before departure. It was a viral test performed with a sample that taken during the 3 calendar days prior to the flight departure.

On behalf of (the name of the person, if he is a minor or someone not able to fill out the form himself) I attest that said person has recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months (90 days), or the period specified in current CDC guidelines, after you have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and received authorization to travel from a healthcare provider licensed physician, or a public health official.

In addition to the passport, the original (if possible) or a copy of the negative results of the covid test or the treatment received and the medical discharge must be on hand, clearly indicating the dates that comply with the requirements of the airlines .

Under United States federal law, each passenger boarding a plane must provide this statement. The CDC warns that not providing it, or presenting false or misleading information could cause the delay of the trip, that the passenger is not allowed to board that trip or future flights, or that the passenger puts himself or others at risk of suffer harm, such as serious bodily injury or death.

Any passenger who does not meet these requirements could be subject to criminal penalties. Knowingly providing false or misleading information can result in criminal fines and even prison time.

Of course, you must wear a mask during the flight and keep the distance of 6 feet (2 meters).

As indicated in the document that compiles this regulation, the primary objectives for which this directive was launched are:

  • Preservation of human life;
  • Prevent the introduction, transmission, and spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 in the United States, including new variants of the virus;
  • Preserve the health and safety of crew members, passengers, airport personnel, and communities; Y
  • Preserve hospital, health care, and emergency response resources within the United States.

The airlines accept as proof of vaccination, official certificates that show the application of approved vaccines in the country of origin.

But, for now, the certificate does not replace the covid test.

This requirement exists only for people arriving in the country by plane.

For travelers from the United States to Europe

Americans who are fully immunized against covid will be able to travel to European Union countries this summer, the European Commission, the union’s executive branch, confirmed on April 25.

A person is fully immunized within two weeks of the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the single dose of Johnson & Johnson.

The European Union has proposed the creation of an international version of the Green Digital Certificate, a kind of proof of vaccination against covid-19 that enables people to travel more freely. This certificate is already issued between citizens of the union to travel more freely between member countries.

The commission, made up of 27 member countries of the European Union, unanimously approved moving forward with the opening of the continent. This decision has been driven by the rapid pace of vaccination in the United States, and also because the country is using three vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (the European Food and Drug Administration).

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