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We are flying from Nice, France to New York on Sunday June 12th, leaving at 12 noon (France time) and landing at 3pm (New York time), a direct flight with Delta airlines. All members of our group are fully vaccinated and generally very careful with masks, hand washing, etc (some US citizens, some UK citizens).

The US just announced that a COVID test will no longer be required starting Sunday June 12th at 12:01am EST. If I have my time zones right, that's 6:01 am in France, so it seems to me that we can dispense with the tests, seeing that we fly at 12 noon (i.e. 12pm).

Is that correct? Are there any rules that would make the lifting of the ban not apply to our flight for some reason? Is it likely that Delta will insist on it anyway?

On the one hand getting tested is the safest thing to do and antigen is somewhat easy. On the other hand if it's not required I'd rather spend the money on lunch and skip the hassle of going by the pharmacy on what is already a very busy day.

UPDATE

As of 12h GMT today (June 11th), the French Delta page about entry requirements still says tests are required: https://fr.delta.com/fr/fr/travel-planning-center/know-before-you-go/us-entry-requirements. We'll just get tested and that's it

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  • It's 12:01am EDT, but yes, that's 6:01am in France.
    – user102008
    Jun 11 at 1:11
  • "and generally very careful with masks, hand washing, etc" => no worries, we won't judge you even if you aren't careful at all! :-)
    – JonathanReez
    Jun 11 at 7:46
  • There is also confusion over the time 1201 am. Since contacting the CDC is almost impossible, interpretation could be in debate. 1201am on June 12 is basically 1 minute past Saturday night on June 11th, yet some news agency reports are stating after midnight Sunday night which would be June 13th.
    – Jay man
    Jun 11 at 7:46
  • Thanks for the great input FWIW I saw at least one delta page that mentions the change, but the French pages don't (e.g. fr.delta.com/fr/fr/advisories/current-advisories as of this time). I guess we'll just take the tests and be safe. Jun 11 at 11:08

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If I have my time zones right, that's 6:01 am in France, so it seems to me that we can dispense with the tests, seeing that we fly at 12 noon (i.e. 12pm). Is that correct?

Most likely, yes. Official CDC statement (mirror):

starting at 12:01AM ET on June 12, 2022, air passengers will not need to get tested and show the COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 prior to boarding a flight to the U.S.

Note that:

  1. The announcement is unclear about the exact time, since they are talking about boarding time instead of the scheduled departing time. E.g. if the boarding time is between 23:30 ET on June 12, 2022 and 23:59 ET on June 11, 2022 and the the scheduled departing time is 12:05AM ET on June 12, 2022, I don't know what happens but I'd take a COVID test in case. Also typically, passengers are asked to show the COVID test at check-in time, not boarding time. So to be safe, I'd take a COVID test if the check-in closes before 12:01AM ET on June 12, 2022.
  2. I'm also unclear what happens in case of a layover, but to be safe I'd consider the check-in close time at the first embarkation point.
  3. Airlines may have their own COVID testing policies (e.g., using out-of-date CDC guidelines).

Obviously, CDC released the statement on Friday evening, so good luck reaching them in time if you have any questions due to the vagueness of the announcement.

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    I’d also note that Timatic hasn’t been updated yet with the new rule. Until that happens some airlines might keep the old rule in place.
    – JonathanReez
    Jun 11 at 5:59
  • @JonathanReez yes I'd certainly take some margin. Jun 11 at 7:07
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    Found the source document: “This rescission takes effect for flights departing to the United States from a foreign country at or after 12:01am ET (4:01am GMT) on June 12, 2022, and will be published in the Federal Register.”. So hopefully OP should be all clear.
    – JonathanReez
    Jun 11 at 7:46
  • @JonathanReez thanks! Why the CDC announcement doesn't link to it and changed its meaning (boarding vs departing) is beyond me. Jun 11 at 8:04
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    A bit late for OP but timatic has now been updated with the new rule.
    – JonathanReez
    Jun 12 at 7:49

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