How to know your COVID status before flying

Any overseas excursion has a significant obstacle: Regardless of where you go or your immunization status, you must have a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test to board your trip return to the United States. And that regulation has been tightened even further, as you will now be required to take a rapid antigen test no more than one day before traveling home.

It makes no difference whether you are completely vaccinated or not; everyone requires Rat tests. Thus, beginning January 2021, these testing requirements – and the potential of being compelled to quarantine for two weeks in a foreign country if you test positive – have frightened many would-be travelers away from international travel. As of Monday, you must take a test within one calendar day of traveling to the United States. Previously, tourists might be tested for up to three days.

The good news is as follows: Our staff has recently traveled internationally, and we can certainly state that locating a test in a foreign area is not nearly as difficult as it may seem. True, it depends on your destination – and it always adds another layer of worry and difficulty.

However, if you follow these instructions, you should be able to be tested before returning to the United States.

What Do the Regulations Declare?

Fortunately, the United States has made it extremely simple to get the appropriate kind of exam. The majority of COVID-19 exams available will fulfill the standards.

Consider the following standards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • All passengers aged 2 years and older must have a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen tests in order to board an aircraft to the United States.
  • This rapid antigen tests must be conducted no later than one day prior to your return travel to the United States.
  • Tests must be either nucleic acid amplification testing (NAATs), such as PCR or LAMP, or antigen assays, such as rapid antigen tests.
  • The CDC has relaxed rules to enable at-home, self-rapid antigen tests kits that have gained emergency FDA approval and also contain a telemedicine appointment.
  • Test findings must include the kind of rapid antigen tests conducted, the entity that conducted the rapid antigen tests, the date the specimen was obtained, your name and identity, and a negative result.
  • The results are available in either print or digital format.
  • If you have undergone COVID-19, you are exempt from this requirement. However, you must provide a recent positive test result — as well as a signed statement from a health care professional indicating that you have been approved to travel.

In contrast to the majority of other nations, there is no mention of requiring a test 24 hours in advance. That is intentional: by allowing you up to one full calendar day, you have a little more leeway to schedule rapid antigen tests. Therefore, if your trip to the United States leaves at 5 p.m. on Saturday, any exam done on Friday or Saturday is acceptable. learn more about rapid antigen test at

Are you concerned that the exam you take in Rome, Cancun, or elsewhere will not pass muster? Don’t fret: Almost every COVID-19 exam available today will meet these standards, regardless of your location. The most critical factor is to take your test at the appropriate time — and, of course, to test negative.

Do: Maintain a home environment and take self-quarantine seriously.

  • Work from home if your circumstances permit
  • Stock your refrigerator and pantry with nutritious, long-lasting meals to avoid making repeated visits to the grocery shop. This is not to say that you should avoid going outdoors and enjoying the weather. Pursue solitary outdoor hobbies such as gardening or going for a solo stroll. Adequate exposure to sunshine and fresh air might be beneficial for mental health and wellbeing.
  • Make an appointment with your doctor or initiate a video visit if you have dealt with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • You have a fever, a cough, and are feeling shortness of breath.

Do: If you are ill, stay at home.

  • While no one likes to miss out on family time over the holidays, those who are ill should remain at home. We strongly recommend individuals to use an at-home quick test if one is accessible. Whether or whether you test positive for COVID, staying home while you are ill is safer for everyone.

Do not: Allow negative COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to cause you to abandon your safeguards.

  • This time of year, our community is afflicted with influenza and other respiratory diseases. Simply having a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen tests does not indicate that you are safe to interact with individuals in big groups or to stop wearing your mask. If you are ill or have any symptoms, please remain at home to help minimize the spread of infectious infections across the community. If you are forced to leave your house, please do so while wearing a mask and using social distancing techniques.
  • Avoid: Visiting an urgent care or emergency department unless you need urgent or emergency treatment. 
  • Emergency departments and urgent care clinics are reserved for patients who require life-saving care. Additionally, we suggest at-home rapid antigen tests, and many of the at-home fast test kits are identical to those used in different healthcare settings by Ochsner.

Do: Vaccinate or improve your immunity.

  • Vaccines are now available for children aged 5 and above to avoid serious illness, hospitalizations, and death. If you have not been vaccinated, please do so immediately. 
  • If you have not had your booster vaccination, please do so immediately. Booster injections provide a big boost in protection. Vaccinating yourself, your family, friends, and community is the finest present you can offer this Christmas season.

Do: Remain at home if you have been exposed to someone who complies with the COVID-19 (Quarantine) Guidelines. 

If you have been boosted, finished the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines during the previous six months, or finished the main series of J&J vaccines within the last two months:

  • For ten days, wear a mask around others.
  • If feasible, do the test on day 5.
  • If you have symptoms, get medical attention and remain at home.


If you finished your main series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines more than six months ago and have not been boosted, if you completed your primary series of J&J vaccines more than two months ago and have not been boosted, or if you are unvaccinated

  • Remain at home for five days. Following that, continue to wear a mask in public for an additional five days.
  • If quarantine is not possible, you must wear a mask for ten days.
  • If feasible, do the rapid antigen tests on day 5.