International travelers should get coronavirus test at 3 different times, CDC advises

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidance on international travel, urging Americans going abroad to get tested for COVID-19 at three different times: before, during and after the big trip.

The public health institute shared the news over the weekend, stressing that while testing cannot eliminate risk, it can help make travel safer for all.

“Air travel requires spending time in security lines and airport terminals, which can bring you in close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces,” the CDC said in the Saturday memo. “Social distancing is difficult in busy airports and on crowded flights, and sitting within 6 feet of others, sometimes for hours, may increase your risk of getting COVID-19. How you get to and from the airport, such as with public transportation and ridesharing, can also increase your chances of being exposed to the virus.”

Now, the CDC is urging international travelers to get tested for the viral disease one to three days before going away, one to three days before returning to the U.S., and finally three to five days after returning home. People who have been abroad should also stay home for at least seven days after travel, regardless of their final test results, the CDC stressed.

"Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days," the CDC wrote. "If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 14 days after travel.”

A health worker performs a nasal swab sample at a COVID-19 rapid testing site in Florida. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)With just three days until Thanksgiving, and increasing numbers of coronavirus cases in Florida

The CDC also urges people to delay travel plans -- at any point -- if awaiting COVID-19 test results and heed any state or local travel requirements.

Above all, adventurers should proceed with utmost caution when traveling during this time.

“A negative test does not mean that you were not exposed or that you will not develop COVID-19,” the public health institute said. “Make sure to wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash your hands, and watch your health for signs of illness while traveling.”

In another quick tip, the CDC suggested keeping copies of COVID-19 test results close during the travel journey, as you may be asked to show them.

Though the CDC has urged Americans not to travel this Thanksgiving, the Transportation Security Administration screened over three million passengers at airports across the country last weekend, marking the highest passenger volume since March.

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