If you are abroad and trying to return to the US, prepare to stay for a while: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just announced new requirements that Travelers entering the US must provide proof of a negative coronavirus test. The new re-entry policy affects all travelers, including U.S. citizens, and takes effect on January 26, 2021.
That means you will not be allowed to board a flight to the US if you do not provide the necessary documentation, including a negative test result (PCR or antigen) or recent recovery test for COVID-19.
So what do you do if you test positive and cannot re-enter the US? Let's take a closer look at how you should plan for this possibility in light of the latest CDC policy.
First, the prospect of a positive coronavirus test should be on the minds of all travelers.
And for international passengers who must fly now, it is particularly important to budget for, or purchase insurance coverage for, an unexpected quarantine in case it becomes necessary after a positive test abroad. Keep in mind that the quarantine period could extend for days, if not weeks or more, after the initial positive test.
“Generally, after exposure, I would have a positive result three to five days after exposure. It can stay positive, shedding viral particles, up to 14 days [after], ”said Healthline senior director of medical integrity, Dr. Jenny Yu (Healthline is owned by TPG's parent company, Red Ventures). “Either way, you should always wear a mask, keep 6 feet away from others and wash your hands frequently.”
Upon recovery, you will be required to show your positive test and a letter from a healthcare provider stating that you are authorized to travel (or have a negative test).
Where to stay
If the result is positive, you will have to find a place to stay abroad until you recover. Some hotels may allow you to extend your quarantine stay at the property, but most of those that do will require you to pay out of pocket.
However, there may be exceptions. For example, some all-inclusive hotel properties will provide complimentary on-site medical assistance for all new and existing reservations. This assistance not only includes two antigen tests per room (only for stays of three nights or more) but also generously covers the cost of an extended hotel stay during a necessary quarantine.
Your Airline Can Help With COVID-19 Insurance
Some international airlines offer COVID-19 insurance to passengers, usually included in the fare. These policies differ from airline to airline, so even before booking your next trip, consider booking flights with a specific airline that covers quarantine costs. And, if you have already booked, check to see if your airline has you covered.
Major American airlines have already eliminated exchange rates, even on most international flights. Please be aware of exceptions, including basic inexpensive fares and itineraries originating from certain regions.
If no change fee is applied, at a minimum, you will not be penalized for changing your flight to a new date when you are cleared to fly again. In many circumstances, however, you are not exempt from the fare difference, which could be quite significant for international itineraries.
That said, it's wise to contact your provider immediately after receiving a positive COVID-19 test result to see what they may be willing to do. While current US airline policies do not allow free changes, airlines can be more generous than usual given regulations. And elite status can help here as well.
If you want to change your flight to get to the US Before the CDC order goes into effect on January 26, major U.S. airlines are waiving the fare difference.
Countries may have specific rules
Some countries with strong tourism and COVID-19 infrastructure have specific regulations in case the outcome is positive. But there is also good news if you worry about excessive out-of-pocket costs.
On the other hand, some countries have strict COVID-19 policies that can end up costing you a lot of money.
In the end this is required;
If your COVID-19 test is positive while abroad, do not expect to return to the US until you recover or get a negative test.
If you must travel now, there are a few ways to make sure you do not incur an excessive amount of expenses during quarantine. One option is to prepay the appropriate travel insurance before you leave the US Another is to visit only countries or fly with airlines that offer a strong COVID-19 insurance policy. Finally, you can also stay in properties that will help you with the cost of insulation.
Remember, upon returning to the US After receiving clearance to travel, the CDC still recommends that you get tested three to five days later and stay home for a full seven days.