Traveling abroad? The CDC now says you should get 3 coronavirus tests

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(NEXSTAR) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its guidelines for international travel and now recommends getting tested for coronavirus not once, but three times to be safe.

The CDC posted the changes to its website over the weekend as people across the country weigh whether or not to travel for the holidays. The official guidance is to avoid travel and stay home for Thanksgiving this year, but for those who decide to travel outside of the country there is a new testing schedule.

The CDC recommends the following:

  • Get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your flight
  • Get tested 1-3 days before you return
  • Get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home for 7 days after travel, even if you test negative. If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 14 days after travel.

Testing does not eliminate all risk, and to stay as safe as possible travelers should pair testing with a period of staying at home, mask usage and social distancing. A negative test after exposure does not guarantee that you won’t later become sick with COVID-19.

“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 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.”

The CDC reminds people to follow state and local recommendations or requirements around travel and delay the trip if test results are still pending.

See the CDC website for more guidance and resources to help you travel safely.

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