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covid test for travel

Do You Need a COVID-19 Test for Travel? Follow Our Flowchart!

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With travel bans and restrictions, mandatory quarantines, testing requirements that seem to change by the day for states and countries around the world, knowing what you need for your next trip can be a challenge. We're here to help.

Follow our flowchart to see whether the state or country you're heading to has entry requirements and if you'll need to get a COVID-19 test before your departing flight – and maybe even before your flight home, too.


covid testing for travel


1. Read our guide to state-by-state travel restrictions
2. Check out what countries around the world require for entry
3. Get up to speed on new requirements to get a test before returning home from abroad


Resources for Domestic Travel

Whether you're heading to Alaska, Hawaii, or any state in between – even U.S. territories like Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands – you'll want to check their travel requirements before boarding that flight.

There aren't currently any country-wide requirements for travel within the U.S., though we could soon see testing requirements for domestic flights.

Currently, each state has different entry requirements. See the updated list of state-by-state restrictions here.

For example, Hawaii requires a test from one of its approved testing partners taken no more than 72 hours prior to your final flight to Hawaii. Read more on Hawaii's requirements here.

Not sure where to get tested, or what kind of test you need? Check our Guide to COVID-19 Testing for Travelers. Many states are offering free testing at public sites, like this COVID-19 testing site at Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) Airport.


Resources for International Travel

There's no question: International travel has gotten more and more difficult throughout the pandemic.

Countries around the globe have levied travel restrictions or outright travel bans. And even countries that allow tourists with testing policies have drastically different requirements: Some give you 10 days, while others require a test taken no more than 72 hours before your flight.

So before you pack your bags, make sure you know the essentials. Does the country you're planning to visit require a COVID-19 test to enter? If you're not sure, check our Country-by-Country Guide to Travel Requirements. You'll find every country from Albania to Zimbabwe listed, with their unique requirements for entry.

Don't know what kind of test you need, or how to get the test back in time to meet the country's requirements? Read our Guide to COVID-19 Testing for Travelers.

Testing to Get Back Home?

And the final piece of the puzzle with international travel: As of Jan. 26, you'll now need a negative COVID-19 test to get back to the U.S. – yes, even U.S. residents returning home. Without a test taken no more than three days before your flight home from Mexico, Costa Rica, or any foreign country, you won't be boarding that flight. Read all about this requirement .

Have questions about this testing rule?

  • Do I need a test to fly back from ____ country?
  • What if I've already had COVID-19?
  • What if I've been vaccinated?
  • Where can I get tested at my destination?
  • What kind of test do I need?
  • What if I get COVID-19 abroad?

We've answered all of these questions and more in our International Travel COVID-19 Testing FAQs.


Bottom Line

Travel restrictions and testing requirements have made boarding that plane – whether for a domestic or international trip – a bit more complicated. Use this flowchart to make sure you're not missing any requirements – and won't have any surprises in the boarding lane.

Find this helpful? Share with a friend, family member, or coworker with upcoming travel plans – it just might save them a big headache.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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