Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States
After being locked down for almost a year people are ready to get out and travel. Of course, this is being complicated by Covid-19 testing requirements. Not to worry, Zihuatanejo has several testing options for the required PCR test. In the United States, the CDC and President Biden’s executive order require all travelers over the age of two that are entering the United States to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test performed within the last 24 hours. If you have been vaccinated, you are still required to get tested. If you have had Covid-19 in the last 90 days and have a positive Covid-19 test accompanied with recovery documentation from your physician, you may not have to do a Covid-19 test. However, the documentation is subject to review by the airlines and there are no guarantees that you won’t have to be tested.
All testing will be out of pocket and the cost ranges from $125 to $250 USD at private testing in Zihuatanejo. Pacific Vacation | StayPV.com has private onsite testing available for a cost of $125 per person tested.
Zihuatanejo airport begins testing at the airport on January 26, 2021. The airport testing is open to all people regardless of whether they are traveling. Test results take up to 30 minutes, and testing is performed on a first come first serve. No appointments are available, and the cost at the time of this posting is $569 pesos, roughly $30 USD. Carlos will make transportation arrangements with the local taxi service for your testing at the airport. Mexico requires a medical health form to be completed for every person coming into the country. You can download the form or fill out the form online here.
Below is the Covid-19 information from the www.CDC.gov website for international travel.
Frequently Asked Questions General
Does this requirement apply to US citizens?
This Order applies to all air passengers, 2 years of age or older, traveling into the US, including US citizens and legal permanent residents.
Are territories or possessions of the US considered foreign countries for the purposes of this Order?
No, the Order to present documentation of a negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 does not apply to air passengers flying from a US territory or possession to a US state.
US territories and possessions of the US include American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.
When does this order take effect?
This Order will go into effect on January 26, 2021.
What is attestation?
An attestation is a statement, writing, entry, or other representation under 18 U.S.C. § 1001 that confirms that the information provided is true.
Does this Order apply to land border crossings?
No, the requirements of this Order only apply to air travel into the US.
Who is checking to make sure that people have a negative test or documentation of recovery before they board a plane to the US?
The airline will confirm a COVID-19 negative test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before boarding.
Will CDC provide information about international testing locations?
CDC is unable to provide information about locations and availability of testing in other countries. Check COVID-19 Country Specific Informationexternal icon for information on how and where to get tested in the country from which you are traveling or contact local authorities in that country.
Does an at home test qualify?
The Order requires a lab report to be presented to the airline or to public health officials upon request. A home specimen collection kit that is tested in a laboratory should meet the requirements if such methods have been approved by the country’s national health authorities.
What is a verifiable test result?
A verifiable test result must be in the form of written documentation (paper or electronic copy) of a laboratory test result. Testing must be performed using a viral test (NAAT or antigen), and negative results must be presented to the airline prior to boarding. The test result documentation must include information that identifies the person, a specimen collection date, and the type of test. A negative test result must show the test was done within the 1 day before the flight. A positive test result must show the test was done within the 3 months before the flight.
What if I have had a COVID-19 vaccine or have tested positive for antibodies? Do I still need a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19?
Yes, at this time all air passengers traveling to the US, regardless of vaccination or antibody status, are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery.
When do I need to get a test to travel to the US and what kind of test do I need?
Get tested no more than 1 day before your flight to the US departs. Make sure to be tested with a viral test (NAAT or antigen test) to determine if you are currently infected with COVID-19. Also, make sure that you receive your results before your flight departs and have documentation of your results to show the airline.
Do state and local governments in the US have separate testing requirements for air passengers?
Federal testing requirements must be met to board a plane to the US. Some state and local governments may have similar or more restrictive testing requirements for air passengers arriving in their jurisdictions. Always check and follow state and local recommendations or requirements related to travel in addition to federal requirements.
What if I recently recovered from COVID-19?
CDC does not recommend getting tested again in the three months after a positive viral test, as long as you do not have symptoms of COVID-19. If you have had a positive viral test in the past 3 months, and you have met the criteria to end isolation, you may travel instead with documentation of your positive viral test results and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that states you have been cleared for travel. The positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery.”
A letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that clears you to end isolation, e.g., to return to work or school, can be used to show you are cleared to travel, even if travel isn’t specifically mentioned in the letter.
What happens if I don’t take a test and want to travel to the US?
Air passengers traveling to the US are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery. Airlines must confirm the negative test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before boarding. If a passenger chooses not to present a test result or documentation of recovery, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger.
What happens if I test positive?
People should self-isolate and delay their travel if symptoms develop or a pre-departure test result is positive until they have recovered from COVID-19. Airlines must refuse to board anyone who does not present a negative test result for COVID-19 or documentation of recovery.
What kind of documentation of my test result do I need to present?
CDC requires that air passengers arriving in the US have a paper or electronic copy of their test result for review by the airline before you board and for potential review by public health officials after you arrive in the US.
Do passengers also need to have a copy of their attestation as well as the airline retaining it?
Passengers are only required to retain a paper or electronic copy of their negative test result or documentation of recovery for the entirety of their itinerary. The attestation should be submitted to and retained by the airline or aircraft operator.
What happens if my flight is delayed and it goes over the 1-day limit for testing?
If your flight is delayed before departure, you will need to get re-tested if the delay causes your test to fall outside of the 1-day pre-departure testing period requirement.
If I am connecting through the US to another country, do I still need to get tested?
Yes. Any flight entering the US, even for a connection, will require testing before departure.
If I have one or more connecting flights to the US, does the 3-day period apply to the first flight or the last one?
If you are arriving on a direct flight to the US, your test must be done within the 3 days before your flight to the US departs. If you are arriving in the US via one or more connecting flights, your test must be done on the 1 day before the first flight in your itinerary, but only if the connecting flights were booked as a single passenger record with a final destination in the US and each connection (layover) is no longer than 24 hours long. If your connecting flight to the US was booked separately or a connection in your itinerary lasts longer than 24 hours, you will need to get tested within 1 day before your flight arrives in the US.
If I tested negative before my flight, do I need to get another test when I get to the US?
CDC recommends that travelers get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home or otherwise self-quarantine for 7 days after travel. Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days. If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 10 days. Always follow state and local recommendations or requirements related to travel.
All travelers (including those who have recovered from COVID-19) should remember to wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet apart from people who are not in your household, and wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing and before eating. Travelers should look for symptoms of COVID-19, and take your temperature if you feel sick. Anyone sick with symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate and delay further travel.
Do I need to get a test before leaving the US?
At this time, CDC does not have a testing requirement for outbound travelers but recommends that you get tested with a viral test (NAAT or antigen) 1-3 days before you travel internationally. Travelers should check with international destinations for their entry requirements.
What is the justification for letting people who recently recovered from COVID-19 travel without a negative test? What about reinfections?
People who have recovered from COVID-19 can continue to test positive for up to 3 months after their infection. CDC does not recommend retesting within 3 months after a person with COVID-19 first developed symptoms (or the date of their first positive viral diagnostic test if their infection was asymptomatic). Even if they have recovered from COVID-19, people who develop symptoms of COVID-19 should not travel and should seek care for testing and evaluation. This guidance may be updated as additional information about people who have recovered from COVID-19 becomes available.
Can CDC help me get a refund for travel expenses if I have to cancel or delay travel because of testing requirements for air passengers flying to the US?
CDC does not reimburse and is unable to help travelers get reimbursements for travel expenses as a result of canceled or delayed travel because of COVID-19 or testing requirements for air passengers flying to the US. While some companies may base their policies on CDC’s travel recommendations or requirements, each company establishes its own refund policies.
In some cases, trip cancellation insurance can protect your financial investment in a trip if you need to change your itinerary in the event of an international outbreak. Visit CDC’s Travelers’ Health website if you would like to learn more about travel insurance, including trip cancellation insurance.
Will CDC reimburse me for the cost of a COVID-19 test?
CDC is not able to reimburse travelers for COVID-19 testing fees. You may wish to contact your insurance provider or the location that provided your test about payment options.