CDC Issues Order Requiring Negative Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test Result for All Airline Passengers Arriving from the United Kingdom

Last Updated on February 23, 2023


On December 25th, 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Order requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test result for all air passengers arriving from the United Kingdom to the U.S., including U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). This Order went into effect at 7:01pm EST on December 27, 2020 (12:01am GMT on December 28, 2020).

The negative COVID-19 test results must be obtained within 72 hours of departure. Travelers incoming from the United Kingdom must be sure to be tested with a viral test (NAAT or antigen test) to determine if they are currently infected with COVID-19. Travelers must also make sure that they receive your results before their flight departs and have documentation of their results to show the airline.

Why is this Order being implemented?

The United Kingdom recently discovered a new strain of COVID-19. The stricter travel ban is a response to the new strain of COVID-19 spreading across the UK. Arriving travelers must provide written documentation in electronic or hard copy confirming their negative COVID-19 lab test results. Airlines are required to request this documentation from travelers prior to boarding. Passengers who do not have negative COVID-19 test results may be banned from boarding their flights.

Who is Affected?

As noted above, this Order impacts all air passengers arriving from the United Kingdom to the U.S., including U.S. Citizens and LPRs. Foreign nationals should be aware that, while a negative test result will exempt them from this Order, they may still be subject to the Presidential Proclamation barring entry of foreign nationals who have been in the United Kingdom within 14 days prior to their planned travel. If you are a foreign national attempting to travel to the U.S. from the United Kingdom, please contact your GIA attorney to discuss your options.

This Order does not apply if travelers have a layover of less than 24 hours in the United Kingdom. This Order does apply if travelers have connecting flights in other countries prior to their arrival in the U.S., so long as their travel originated in the United Kingdom.

How are Envoy Global and Global Immigration Associates (GIA) responding?

Envoy and GIA will continue to monitor additional updates from CDC regarding this Order.

What do I need to do next?

If you have questions regarding U.S. travel restrictions, please contact your GIA attorney for further guidance.

Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Myra Mahmud, who is a Senior Associate at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (, Envoy’s affiliated law firm.

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.