Good news for travelers considering an international trip this summer—the CDC has slightly relaxed COVID-19 testing requirements for returning to the United States. Effective immediately, at-home COVID-19 tests (including rapid tests) will be accepted at the border.
If you’re flying out of the country and don’t want to have to worry about finding a lab to conduct a COVID-19 test (and get those results in time), you can now pack an at-home kit and get tested remotely.
The at-home COVID-19 tests must have been taken no more than three days before departure and meet the following requirements:
- The test must be a SARS-CoV-2 viral test (nucleic acid amplification test [NAAT] or antigen test) with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- The testing must be done in conjunction with a telehealth service that will supervise the test over video.
- The telehealth provider must verify the test-taker’s identity, monitor the sample collection, and verify the test result.
The test results must include the following information in order to be accepted:
- Type of test (NAAT or antigen)
- Who issued the test
- Sample collection date
- Full name of the test-taker plus one other identifier (such as date of birth or passport number)
- Test result
There is currently one at-home test on the market that meets the CDC's requirements to be used for international air travel: Abbot's BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag At-Home Test Kit, which includes virtual test supervision when purchased through eMed. The test is available in a six-pack for $150. You'll be able to take the test from anywhere in the world and receive results in 15 minutes.