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Changing Covid testing requirements

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Kimela

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This topic seems to change fairly often. Maybe we could post here (or someone could start a sticky and change it as needed) with the latest changes we learn of, to help folks keep things straight?

Today (Feb 12, 2022), I was reading a Cozumel FB page (Cozumel My Cozumel) and saw that the cdc has now changed the covid testing and travel rules again. If you test positive you can't travel to the US for 10 days - doesn't matter if you test negative after testing positive - and according to the FB post it won't matter if you have a letter from a doctor saying you have recovered. Still ten days from test date even if asymptomatic. The poster said they were flying United and there was some discussion that other airlines might not hold to the rules as stringently - FWIW. Here's the wording from the website:

"Do NOT travel if…
  • You are sick.
  • You tested positive for COVID-19.
    • Do not travel until a full 10 days after your symptoms started or the date your positive test was taken if you had no symptoms."

The link to the website is below. I'm not sure when the change was made, but the FB post said it happened last Thursday? When we were there last month we understood that the cdc was using the 5-day rule.

 

cvchief

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I think that is just the 'hey you shouldn't travel probably for 10 days' thing. The isolation rules is, I believe, 5 days after symptoms start and then wear a mask for another 5.

The coming to the US page has not changed, that I can see:

 

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That CDC page answers the question about travel if you test negative after testing positive with
"If you know or suspect that you have COVID-19, you should self-isolate and NOT travel until you have met CDC’s criteria to travel."

However, unless Mexican pharmacies and hospitals directly notify the airline - and if they did why would you need to input test results yourself - how would they ever know you tested positive? The only result I would ever show is a negative one to board the flight. I wouldn't be going to the airport or uploading a positive test.

As for "10 days after symptoms", how does one document what date symptoms started?
 

ReefHound

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The page says it was updated Jan 27.
I am skeptical of anything I read on FB, by the way. The only thing worse is Neighborhood.

I automatically dismiss anything on FB that says "I heard" or "I was told". In fact, you better have a link to back up your claim to knowledge.
 

cvchief

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Those are all guidance, like you should stay home if you have a positive test for 5 days and where a mask five. The rules says you have to show a negative test or a doc letter with positive test. Doesn't say how many times you can try.... :wink:

  • If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States. You must show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight.
  • If you recently recovered from COVID-19, you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from COVID-19 (i.e., your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).
 

ReefHound

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Those are all guidance, like you should stay home if you have a positive test for 5 days and where a mask five. The rules says you have to show a negative test or a doc letter with positive test. Doesn't say how many times you can try.... :wink:

  • If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States. You must show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight.
  • If you recently recovered from COVID-19, you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from COVID-19 (i.e., your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).

If I was flying out on the 5th and tested positive on the 4th, I would immediately get another test to confirm. If still positive I would test everyday afterwards and try to fly out next day after a negative. Assuming asymptomatic, of course.

On a side note, anyone here had to extend due to a positive? How does it work with changing flights? How do you change to an unknown date? Fly standby once negative? Change to a month later then change again once you know? Cancel outright and rebook fresh?
 

Compressor

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On a side note, anyone here had to extend due to a positive? How does it work with changing flights? How do you change to an unknown date? Fly standby once negative? Change to a month later then change again once you know? Cancel outright and rebook fresh?
You make a great point.
For me, it becomes a nightmare scenario. For this reason, I will not travel outside the US until guidance is changed or the pandemic becomes endemic. I am not happy about my position but I have little choice.
 

tursiops

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You make a great point.
For me, it becomes a nightmare scenario. For this reason, I will not travel outside the US until guidance is changed or the pandemic becomes endemic. I am not happy about my position but I have little choice.
It is awful when you are subject to the downside of your own choices.
 
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Kimela

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I THINK this is the takeaway:
  • If you test positive for covid, don't tell the airline - get retested
  • If you test negative after testing positive, don't tell the airline
  • If you test positive and are symptomatic and determine that you MUST recuperate in Cozumel, cancel your flight without telling the airline why you're canceling so you can retest to go home when you're feeling better - and get a letter from the doctor saying you have recovered
  • Check with your airline to see what THEIR policy is IN MEXICO to determine how long you will be required to stay in Mexico after a positive test, if you do have symptoms and have to recuperate there.
The guy on the FB post was telling his personal story and I have no reason to suspect he was lying. I think his mistake was in admitting, up front to United, that his wife tested positive for covid. Her symptoms were a little bit of congestion for one day, three days prior to the test. But once United knew she had tested positive they decided how they were going to apply the 'rules'. This is a problem all over the place - there's no consistency in how the 'suggestions' or 'rules' or 'regulations' will be applied. If United wants to be more stringent in Mexico there's nobody who can tell them 'that's not what the cdc says' and get home faster. (Unrelated, but related to the inconsistency of applying 'rules', there's a preschool near here that says that for 90 days after your child has had covid, they won't have to quarantine if exposed to covid. But not all preschools or elementary/secondary schools have that rule.)

What we see on the cdc's website range from 'suggestions' to rules - they also recommend that we get tested 5 days after returning from travel, and to quarantine for two weeks after returning home. NOBODY does that! (Well, I don't - not intentionally anyway - but I work from home so I may quarantine for 2 weeks and not realize I've done it! Time flies when you're having fun.)
 
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