On January 24th, the federal government issued an executive order establishing a series of requirements for travelers coming from abroad to enter any US jurisdiction.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that anyone planning to travel abroad “should be screened within 3 days before traveling to the United States or will need to present a negative COVID-19 molecular test result to the airline before boarding the plane or present documentation proving recovery from COVID-19 (a record of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you are authorized to travel).”
If you travel from abroad to any state or territory in the United States, you will need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to the airline before boarding. Otherwise, you will not be able to travel. In addition, you must complete the Passenger Disclosure and Attestation to the United States of America form before boarding.
In the case of those traveling to Puerto Rico, this process is required in addition to the protocol already in effect by the local government. The island’s local government requires that you complete the Department of Health’s Traveler Declaration form and present evidence of a NEGATIVE, SARS-CoV (Covid-19) qualified MOLECULAR test result, carried out 72 hours or less before travel. Suppose the negative molecular test result is not provided. In that case, it is the traveler’s responsibility to remain in self-quarantine for 14 days or the duration of their trip, whichever is the shorter period.
Does the new executive order apply to travel from Puerto Rico to any US state?
The CDC clarifies that “the order to present documentation of a COVID-19 test result or COVID-19 recovery documentation does not apply to passengers flying from a US territory or possession to a US state. US territories and possessions include American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.”
Therefore, if you travel from Puerto Rico to any state in the United States, you do not need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result unless the state government of your destination requires it. The CDC offers a website where you can identify each state’s requirements.
It is important that you contact your airline directly if you have any questions regarding the COVID-19 health and safety protocols of the various destinations.
For more information on the new federal order, please visit the CDC website.
You can also find more details on the US State Department’s website.