Here’s what you need to know about the new order from the CDC: 

  • Types of Travelers Impacted: All air passengers, 2 years of age or older, traveling into or connecting through the U.S., including U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. 
  • Timeline: Test must be taken no more than 3 days before departing from the initial departure point. The requirement goes into effect on Jan. 26, 2021.  
  • Test type: Test can be taken at most 3 days before initial departure point and can be a nucleic acid amplification test (e.g., PCR test) or viral antigen test that has been approved by local health authorities. Antibody tests will not be accepted. Passengers who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days and have since recovered may bring a copy of their positive test result and a letter from a licensed health provider or public health official, stating that they have been cleared for travel. 
  • Process: A verifiable laboratory test result must be presented before boarding, in the form of written documentation (paper or electronic copy), as well as a signed attestation form required by the CDC.
  • Connecting Flights: A test must be taken in the 3 days before the first flight in your itinerary, but only if connecting flights were booked as a single trip with a final destination in the U.S., and each connection is less than 24 hours. If a connecting flight to the U.S. was booked separately or a connection in your itinerary lasts longer than 24 hours, you will need to get tested within 3 days of your last flight. If connecting through the U.S. to another country, a test will still be required before departure with the same time requirements. 
  • Vaccine Status: All air passengers traveling to the U.S., regardless of vaccination status, are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery. 

Ensuring your travelers have flexibility during this time is extremely important to Delta. For this reason, we have waived the fare difference for international tickets following the new CDC testing requirement. The fare difference will be waived for customers with tickets purchased before Jan. 12 who were originally scheduled to travel internationally to or through the U.S. through Feb. 9, if they choose to rebook their travel to begin on or before Jan. 25. Under Delta’s existing change fee waiver, customers can already rebook their travel without a change fee. For more information, visit

Testing location resource: