US Requires Negative Covid-19 Test From UK Arrivals Effective December 28, 2020


United States will require all passengers arriving from the UK, including US residents and citizens, to have a negative PCR-RT or antigen test performed not more than 72 hours before scheduled departure.

A more transmissible variant of Covid-19 is prevalent in the UK, and countries are trying to slow down the spread.

Here’s the release from the CDC:

CDC to Require Negative COVID-19 Test from Air Travelers from the United Kingdom

Today, President Trump is taking another step to protect the health of the American people by requiring air passengers arriving from the United Kingdom (U.K.) to test negative, via PCR or Antigen test, no more than 72 hours before departure from the U.K. to the United States.

The public health authorities in the United Kingdom recently announced the discovery of a new variant of SARS-CoV-2.  Viruses constantly change through mutation, and preliminary analysis in the U.K. suggests that this new variant may be up to 70% more transmissible than previously circulating variants.

On March 14, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation to suspend the entry of foreign nationals who visited the United Kingdom in the past 14 days. This has reduced air travel to the U.S. from the U.K. by about 90%. This additional testing requirement will fortify our protection of the American public to improve their health and safety and ensure responsible international travel. The order is consistent with existing CDC testing guidance plus the HHS, U.S. Department of Transportation, and Department of Homeland Security joint guidance in the “Runway to Recovery” document.

This new order is consistent with the measures that have been taken so far to increase our ability to detect and contain COVID-19 proactively and aggressively.

Passengers are required to get a viral test (i.e., a test for current infection) within the 3 days before their flight from the U.K. to the U.S. departs, and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (in hard copy or electronic) to the airline. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers before they board. If a passenger chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.

This order will be signed tomorrow, December 25, and become effective on December 28, 2020.


It appears that this also applies to transit passengers that merely switch planes at London’s Heathrow and an important hub for transatlantic travel (at least was before Covid-19).

Many, if not most, countries have either temporarily banned all arrivals from the UK or have instituted a negative Covid-19 testing requirement.

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