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COVID-19t testing and travel requirements

The Travel Agent’s Guide to COVID-19 Testing and Travel

Your Guide to COVID-19 Testing and Travel Requirements

Are your clients asking you for information on COVID-19 testing and travel requirements? This is the top question on every traveler’s mind right now. This past January, new requirements have made it mandatory for airline passengers entering the United States of America to provide a negative COVID-19 test within three days of travel. In addition, travelers may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in 90 days preceding travel. 

While these new requirements for COVID-19 testing may make it a bit trickier to plan a vacation, they may also help your travelers go with more confidence! We’ve gathered information for you to help walk your travelers through the process of planning, how to get a test, and more!

 

*This article is current as of 02/15/2021. Please reconfirm all COVID-19 testing and travel requirements by visiting the CDC website directly.

**This article contains COVID-19 testing and travel requirements by country. This does not indicate that all of these countries are currently open to US citizens. Please visit the US Embassy websites provided for further information. Every country is listed for your convenience as these destinations continue to reopen.

 

In this article:

 

  • Which airports have COVID-19 testing available?
  • Caribbean: COVID-19 Testing and Travel Requirements
  • Central America: COVID-19 Testing and Travel Requirements
  • South America: COVID-19 Testing and Travel Requirements
  • United Kingdom: COVID-19 Testing and Travel Requirements
  • Can a travel agent arrange for a COVID-19 test?
  • At-home tests you can bring with you
  • What happens if a traveler tests positive?

 

Which airports have COVID-19 testing available?

Some states are requiring proof of a negative test upon arrival or requiring a period of self-quarantine. To make this easier, many airports are offering on-site testing. To verify what your domestic destination requires, check the CDC Travel Planner and search by zip code. Once you know the requirements for your destination, view a list of airports offering testing here.

COVID-19 Testing and Travel Requirements: Caribbean

Many Caribbean islands have re-opened for tourism with restrictions in place. Most will require a proof of negative COVID test upon arrival, even if you have been vaccinated. Additionally, some will require proof of a travel insurance policy that covers COVID-19. 

Anguilla

Antigua and Barbuda

Aruba

The Bahamas

Barbados

British Virgin Islands

Cayman Islands*

Cuba*

Dominica

Dominican Republic*

Grenada

Guadeloupe*

Haiti

Jamaica*

Martinique*

Montserrat

Netherlands Antilles

Puerto Rico

Saint Barthelemy*

St. Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia

St Martin*

Saint Vincent

Trinidad and Tobago*

Turks and Caicos

US Virgin Islands

*Check travel advisory

COVID-19 Testing and Travel Requirements: Central America

Belize

Costa Rica

El Salvador

Honduras

Guatemala

Mexico

Nicaragua

Panama

COVID-19 Testing and Travel Requirements: South America

Argentina

Bolivia*

Brazil*

Chile

Columbia

Ecuador

Falkland Islands*

French Guiana*

Guyana

Paraguay

Peru

Suriname*

Uruguay

Venezuela*

*Check travel advisory

COVID-19 Testing and Travel Requirements: United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (UK) is taking steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by requiring notifications to be provided to all customers traveling into the UK at the following four points: at the booking stage, prior to departure, at the check-in stage, and onboard the aircraft.

Here is what the UK is currently requiring:

  1. All persons (including UK nationals and residents) arriving in the UK from outside the common travel area must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of departure to the UK. 
  2. To protect your health and others’, everyone must complete an online passenger locator form before arrival in the United Kingdom.
  3. All arrivals must self-isolate for 10 days unless exempt. Check the list of exempt countries immediately before travel and the list of work-related exemptions if traveling for work.
  4. It is a legal requirement that you wear a face-covering on public transport in the UK.
  5. If you self-isolate in England, you may opt into a Test to Release.

Failure to comply with the above measures is a criminal offense and you could be fined. Please visit www.gov.uk/uk-border-control for detailed public health advice and requirements for entering the UK.

Can the agent arrange for a COVID-19 test? 

In many cases, yes. The best place to start is by contacting your clients’ hotel or resort. The majority of resorts are offering COVID-19 testing right on site so that travelers will never have to find their way through a foreign city to get a test done. Your clients will love this option as a way to avoid going out in crowds and for the convenience factor. If their hotel does not offer testing, check the embassy website for the destination, which will often provide a list of testing sites. The website testfortravel.com is another wonderful resource for finding COVID-19 testing sites by city. Even if you cannot schedule the test in advance, your clients will appreciate your help researching the best and easiest way to get a test done.

At-Home Tests You Can Bring With You

Another option for testing which is becoming more widely available is the at-home test. Products such as the BinaxNOW at-home test can be purchased prior to departure. These tests can be shipped directly to the user and brought along on vacation. Then, before returning home, the traveler will video chat with a trained telehealth professional who will walk them through the process.

What happens if a travelers test positive?

What happens if a client tests positive for COVID-19 prior to their return to the United States? The situation will look different depending on where they are going and staying. In an effort to assist travelers as much as possible, hotels and resorts have gone above and beyond to help travelers out. Many are offering free or discounted prices for travelers who need to extend their stay and self-isolate. The best way to navigate this is by coming up with a plan for what your client will do if they do need to extend their stay. Make you and your travelers are aware of their options as far as extending the hotel/resort stay and changing airline tickets. 

 

➡️ Read next: 2021 Travel:  Which Niches Will Thrive This Year

Shawna Levet

Shawna Levet

Shawna is passionate about helping travel agents grow their business and expand their knowledge as travel experts. She has been in the travel industry since 2011, helping agents and travelers alike find the best negotiated airfare and travel coverage to meet their needs.

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