Traveling to NYC/US from abroad? Let's get ready for the new testing requirements

Let's start by saying what is NOT happening – the much-feared forced quarantine is NOT part of the new guidelines, so we can all stop worrying about that and stop spreading fears for no other reason than to create sensationalism.

“This variant is a cause for concern, but not panic,” – this is what President Joe Biden said Thursday afternoon at the National Institutes of Health. With this frame of mind, let's now dive into these new guidelines that all INBOUND INTERNATIONAL travelers should be ready to follow as early as next week – as per senior White House official.

    ALL TRAVELERS (regardless of nationality or vaccination status) coming to the US from abroad must provide a NEGATIVE COVDI TEST administered within 24 hours( 1-day  time before boarding a flight to the United States, taken no more than 1 day before travel) from departure.
    –– Testing used to allow 72 hrs, and now it will be 24 hrs
    Again, this new rule will apply to all travelers coming to the US whether they are vaccinated or not and whether they are Americans or not.
    – Along with these new testing requirements, the WH also announced that the federal mask mandate requiring travelers to wear masks in airports, on planes, and on other modes of public transportation (i.e. trains, buses, and ferries) has been extended through March 18th, 2022.
    – As of November 26th, there is an ACTIVE BAN barring foreign travelers to come to the states from these 8 nations in Southern Africa – Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. This BAN applies to both citizens of those nations and citizens of other nations who have been in those countries in the past 14 days.

With this new variant Omicron knocking on our doors and two confirmed cases in the US, the administration does not want to take any chances. At the moment these are the new rules to be implemented as soon as possible – official date TBD. There were talks about adding possible post-travel testing requirements but senior officials confirmed this week that at the moment the administration will not entertain that idea –– "maybe in the future but not yet."

It is important to stress out how these are measures intended to prevent the spread of the virus, especially variants, and not to cause panic. People are still invited to travel domestically and internationally however we are all encouraged to do so safely, traveling only if vaccinated and taking all precautions to keep ourselves and other safe.


  • For Americans –– we can travel back home with or without proof of vaccination + NEGATIVE TEST within 24 hours from flight.
  • For all other nationalities –– you must have proof of vaccination + 1 NEGATIVE TEST within 24 hours from flight.
  • We do not have a confirmed date yet for the 24-hr testing rule. They said as early as next week.
  • No post-arrival testing will be implemented.
  • No forced quarantine will be implemented.
  • Have you traveled to the 8 African nations mentioned above? If so, you must wait at least 14 days before boarding a plane to the US.
  • Keep following the same precautions as before – mask-wearing, frequent hand-washing, social distancing, and if you are not, and if can, get vaccinated and considered a booster shot.

If new rules and guidelines will be implemented in the future, we will promptly update our COVID-19 Travel Page.

We wish everyone a very happy and joyful Holiday Season.

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