April. 15, 2021

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a new resource to help aircraft operators meet their obligation to verify passengers’ negative COVID-19 status prior to boarding an aircraft on a flight bound for the U.S.

“This resource does not present new information or change the CDC’s expectations of aircraft operators, but this tool should make it easier for aircraft operators to meet those expectations,” said Brian Koester, CAM, NBAA director of flight operations and regulations.

The checklist provides detailed requirements for two options:

  • Option A: Passenger shows a negative COVID-19 test result
  • Option B: Passenger shows documentation of recovery from COVID-19

View the CDC checklist. (PDF)

Option A, a negative COVID-19 test result, requires proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within three days of departure. Option B, recovery from COVID-19, requires a specimen collection date within 90 days of departure. Tests older than 90 days are unacceptable as evidence of recovery from COVID-19.

Operators must refuse boarding to any passenger not providing the required documents for either Option A or B.

While this new resource specifically refers to “airlines,” the order to which it refers, and therefore this checklist, applies to all aircraft operators. That order requires proof of a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving from a foreign country to the U.S. Review the CDC order.

The order was effective on Jan. 26 and remains in effect until the earliest of three conditions: expiration of the secretary of health and human services’ declaration that COVID-19 is a public health emergency; Dec. 31; or the order is rescinded or modified by the CDC.

Review the CDC’s FAQ for operators.