COVID-19 Testing Requirements for International Travel

January 25, 2021 • April Mabry

COVID-19 Testing Requirements for International Travel

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued new COVID-19 testing requirements for international travelers returning to the United States effective January 26, 2021.

These new guidelines require individuals to test for COVID-19 three days prior to boarding an aircraft to return to the United States and recommends individuals test three to five days after travel and stay at home for seven days. It’s recommended that individuals not tested after their return flight should stay at home for 10 days.

According to the CDC, testing combined with staying at home significantly reduces travelers’ risk of spreading COVID-19.


Employers need to ensure employees planning international travel are aware of the requirements and the impact on their ability to return to work. The HR Library sample Recent Travel Reporting forms for employees and students have been updated to include the new CDC recommendations. Employers should revise the forms to reflect local stay-at-home requirements.


Providing the new restrictions in advance of spring break will help employees make informed decisions regarding travel and prepare to adhere to requirements upon their return. Ensure information provided includes:

  • District policies on traveling and self-isolation upon return
  • Access to any forms staff may need to complete (sample travel reporting form)
  • Contact information for staff who can answer employee questions
  • Links to up-to-date CDC information (travel recommendations, COVID data tracker, etc.)
  • Related leave information should employees not be able to return to work


For more information, refer to the previous HRX article Employee Travel and Return to Work.

April Mabry is an assistant director at TASB HR Services. Send April an email at

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Tagged: COVID-19, Leave