Overall, the international approach to operating during the pandemic has been varied with each country implementing different requirements for entry. While most require a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result presented upon entry, each country has its own validity lengths for the test. The validity can range from being no more than 10 days old to administered less than 72 hours before arrival. In addition to negative PCR test results, many countries require submission of a health form, medical screening upon arrival, and a quarantine period until a second PCR test is done.
For instance, stricter rules have been set in place following a national lockdown in the United Kingdom. In addition to presenting negative test results and filling out a passenger locator form, travelers from high-risk countries are instructed to self-isolate in a hotel for 10 days upon arrival. While crew members are exempt from some of these mandates, the exemption is not valid for those from countries that are banned from traveling to the UK altogether.
In the United States, a mandate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently went into effect on Tuesday, January 26, 2021. This mandate follows a recent Executive Order from newly inaugurated President Biden and requires disclosure and attestation from passengers traveling to the US by aircraft. In the document, passengers must confirm they have either received negative results from of COVID-19 test administered no more than 3 days prior to departure or have recovered from COVID-19 within the last three months. Of note, operators of private flights and general aviation aircraft must maintain passenger attestations for two years but do not need to retain copies of the actual test results.
One of the biggest uncertainties going forward is how the vaccine will impact these restrictions. As the vaccine becomes more widely available, the expectation is that borders will begin to open up more. Providing proof of vaccination may replace the need for negative PCR tests and mandatory quarantines upon arrivals. For updated information about operating under COVID-19 restrictions, you may contact our 24x7 COVID-19 Operations Desk by telephone: +1 713-430-7512 or US toll-free 1-888-299-1711. Additionally, check out the embedded mapping tool to overlay COVID-19 information for individual countries: