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FSO travelers prepare for new international COVID testing rules that come into effect on Monday

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – Stricter travel restrictions will be put in place for those entering the United States.

Travelers will have to show a negative result to a COVID-19 test carried out during the day. The old rule allowed a 72 hour window, but this shortens the time frame accepted. It comes as cases of COVID-19 and the new variant cause growing concern.

“I just heard from you,” said traveler Aiman ​​Abuhamdieh.

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Yes, some who came to SFO from overseas were not aware of the new requirements.

“It’s painful, it’s not ideal, but it is what it is,” said Kathy Smith, who just flew to San Francisco. “In the UK it’s fine, it’s expensive to get private testing, but it’s pretty easy to get,” Smith said.

The new rule allows COVID-19 viral testing which includes PCR and rapid tests seen by a professional who can confirm the result.

Passengers arriving from Mexico on Sunday night told us the hotels there are already on board and have these quick tests for under $ 30 at the hotel.

“You get your test in the morning and you have it easily in two, three hours,” said Brian Mcleran, who has just arrived from Puerto Vallarta.

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But for those we spoke with who started in Istanbul, Turkey, that was a different story.

“Even three days it was harder because I had it on Saturday night and Sunday was my flight so it was stressful,” said Syed Qasim.

In fact, even after achieving this result, Qasim missed his connecting flight to the UK due to confusion over UK rules, a decision that cost him thousands of dollars.

Better to know the rules of the country you are traveling to or passed through, and in this case, know that the COVID test to enter the United States must now be more recent.

“There have been different restrictions when I have traveled each time this year, so just check each time, make sure you have the information today,” Smith said.

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The US State Department wrote this on its website:

From December 6, air travelers aged two years and over, regardless of nationality or vaccination status, must present a document attesting to a negative viral test result taken within one day of flight departure to the United States. United before boarding. You must show your negative result to the airline before boarding your flight. This includes all travelers – U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), and foreign nationals.

If you have recently recovered from COVID-19, you may instead travel with COVID-19 recovery documents (i.e. your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before. flight departure from a foreign country, and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or public health official stating that you have been authorized to travel).

Exemptions will be considered on an extremely limited basis. Please visit the CDC for more information on exemptions and the requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or COVID-19 recovery, including the types of tests accepted for all air passengers arriving in the United States.

Check with your airlines, cruise lines, or tour operators for any updated information on your travel plans and / or restrictions, including potential COVID vaccine or testing requirements for the countries you transit through.

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