SEMBACH, Germany – As you may have seen in the news, a new COVID testing requirement for inbound air travel to the United States went into effect on December 6 requiring all air travelers to be tested COVID negative no more than a day before departure for the United States.
However, the CDC recently updated its guidelines, and U.S. military personnel, civilian employees, dependents, contractors, and other U.S. government employees are exempt from the new one-day testing requirement of the original order from the CDC if they are traveling on official military travel orders. .
This exemption applies to persons who have received official military orders on US military flights (including entire aircraft charter operators) and non-US military flights (for example, commercial flights). As such, these individuals are exempt from the one-day testing requirement and thus are permitted to complete their COVID tests 72 hours (three days) prior to their departure from Europe, in accordance with DoD Force Health Protection Supplement 20. Guidance, dated April. .12, 2021.
The CDC recommends that those on official travel have their applicable travel orders with them to present to airline / operator personnel or public health authorities.
It should be noted that the one-day testing exemption only applies to carriers based in the United States. Those who are not traveling by official order remain subject to the CDC’s one-day test requirements.
If the local MTF is unable to meet official travel testing needs, official travelers should seek testing off post or at international airports. Due to recent changes to the Joint Travel Regulation, COVID testing for official travel is now a reimbursable expense.
Individuals should check with their local medical treatment center for information on COVID testing services and capabilities for official travel purposes.