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By The Way
Detours with locals. Travel tips you can trust.

6 questions about travel after recovering from covid, answered

Travelers who have recovered can bypass testing requirements, with the right documents

(iStock/Washington Post illustration)
5 min

If you’re among the millions of people who tested positive for the coronavirus during the omicron surge, you might be feeling confident about traveling as soon as you have recovered. But how soon after an infection is too soon? Especially since it’s possible to test positive long after you have stopped being contagious. With a recent infection behind you, will you still need to follow the same international testing rules for travel?

Anyone flying into the United States is required to test negative for the coronavirus within one day of traveling back into the country. But people who have recovered from the virus in the past 90 days can bypass that testing requirement, with the right documentation.

So what should that ever-expanding group of people do? Victor Tarsia, a co-founder of the telemedicine service MDAnywhere and an urgent-care physician, is hearing that question a lot. The company offers online doctor visits and evaluations to provide clearance to travel when patients have met the criteria.

“It’s exploded in the last month or two,” Tarsia said. “We’ve been seeing a lot of people.”

Most of them, he said, have recently recovered and are preparing for upcoming trips. This is what people in that situation need to know, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You tested positive in a foreign country. Here's what you should do.

Coronavirus: What you need to know

Where do things stand? See the latest covid numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people.

The state of public health: Conservative and libertarian forces have defanged much of the nation’s public health system through legislation and litigation as the world staggers into the fourth year of covid.

Grief and the pandemic: A Washington Post reporter covered the coronavirus — and then endured the death of her mother from covid-19. She offers a window into grief and resilience.

Would we shut down again? What will the United States do the next time a deadly virus comes knocking on the door?

Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot. New federal data shows adults who received the updated shots cut their risk of being hospitalized with covid-19 by 50 percent. Here’s guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.

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