4

https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/world.php -> United States indicates:

  1. Passengers entering or transiting through the USA must have a negative COVID-19 test taken at most 3 days before departure from the first embarkation point. Tests accepted are: antigen, NAAT, RT-LAMP, RT-PCR or TMA. Passengers details (e.g., name and date of birth) in the certificate must match those stated in the passport or other travel document; and the test result must specify "negative" or "not detected". If marked "invalid" it is not accepted.

If one takes the flight: airport XXX (not in the US) -> airport YYY (not in the US) -> airport ZZZ (in the US), with a layover at YYY during which one left the airport and reentered it, does airport XXX or airport YYY count as the first embarkation point? The purpose of defining the first embarkation point is satisfying the covid-19 requirements.

Assume that:

  • airport XXX and airport YYY are in 2 different countries,
  • the layover at airport YYY lasts less than 24 hours,
  • the flight XXX ->YYY->ZZZ is on a single ticket,
  • no checked baggage will be retrieved and re-checked at airport YYY: all baggage are checked at airport XXX through to the final destination (airport ZZZ),

in case this changes the answer.

6
  • 1
    Is this all on one ticket? My guess is that since the airline is the one verifying the test when you check in, from their point of view the first embarkation point is the ticket origin.
    – jdouglas
    Aug 10 at 14:53
  • @jdouglas good point, one ticket. Aug 10 at 14:54
  • 1
    Single ticket? Overnight layover? Do you have checked baggage that you will retrieve and re-check (i.e. does the airline consider that as a stopover rather than a layover)? Will you be checked through to your final destination?
    – jcaron
    Aug 10 at 14:54
  • @jcaron good points, question edited. Layover is from early AM (close to midnight) to late morning, unsure if this counts as overnight. Aug 10 at 14:59
  • 1
    "first embarkation point" for what specific purpose ? Covid requirements or something else.? Whoever is asking the information from you needs to define exactly what they mean by that.
    – Hilmar
    Aug 10 at 18:09
5

CDC tells us:

If I have one or more connecting flights to the US, does the 3-day period apply to the first flight or the last one? Do I need to get another test if I have a connecting flight?

If your itinerary has you arriving to the US via one or more connecting flights, your test can be taken within the 3 days before the departure of the first flight.

If the 3-day testing period expires before one of your connecting flights, you only need to get retested before boarding connecting flights if:

  • You planned an itinerary incorporating one or more overnight stays en route to the US. (NOTE: You do not need to be retested if the itinerary requires an overnight connection because of limitations in flight availability.), OR
  • The connecting flight is delayed past the 3-day limit of testing due to a situation outside of your control (e.g., delays because of severe weather or aircraft mechanical problem), and that delay is more than 48 hours past the 3-day limit for testing.

So it depends on whether "the itinerary requires an overnight connection because of limitations in flight availability".

Note also that they count it as 3 days, not 72 hours. So for your second flight departure, even if that is considered as the point of departure, any test taken in the 3 days before that flight, even very early in the morning, is valid. Of course timezones may play for or against you :-)

8
  • Thanks, great info! Indeed strange to talk about a 3-day period computed on different timezones. Aug 10 at 15:25
  • 1
    The CDC is refreshingly clear about this: It's three local calendar days before the departure of your first leg. So if your scheduled departure is on Friday 11.50pm, you can take anytime on Tuesday or after. If your departure is 20 minutes later (i.e. Saturday 0:10) than you can only start testing on Wednesday.
    – Hilmar
    Aug 10 at 18:15
  • The wording is a bit confusing. What exactly constitutes and"overnight layover"? Any connection that includes mid-night? A certain minimum time? A combination of both ?
    – Hilmar
    Aug 10 at 18:20
  • @Hilmar "If the 3-day testing period expires before one of your connecting flights" sounds like in this case the 3-day period is computed on different timezones if the connecting flight happens on a different time zone than the departure point of the first leg of the trip Aug 10 at 20:16
  • That's a reasonable interpretation, but they also don't define what exactly "expiration" means if your connection is in a different time zone. This being said, the answer is quite clear "you only have to retest if you do an intentional stop-over or have a massive delay". This is about as lenient as it gets: For some short business trips I did my return test in the US before outbound flight!
    – Hilmar
    Aug 11 at 13:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.