Pre-travel COVID testing is a way to avoid quarantine. You may even need a negative test to board a plane.

Many US states and foreign countries have updated their travel rules and regulations.

While some destinations may not have any specific travel guidelines, some airlines have prerequisites that you must follow to travel without any restrictions, and the rules seem to change frequently. Make sure to ask the right questions.

Do they require a negative COVID test?

  • Are they specific about whether the test must be a PCR or Antigen test?  Most will require a PCR test, but recently we have seen some that accept a rapid antigen test.
  • Will they accept a rapid test? Or do they want a certified lab result? Understand that rapid tests can be either PCR or antigen tests.
  • How about specimen type? Nasal swab? Nasopharyngeal swab? Oropharyngeal swab? Saliva? Some destinations have very specific requirements. Some don’t. So make sure to read the fine print.

CDC Travel Recommendations by Destination

US State Dept List of Travel Restrictions by Country

What time frame?

Many will have requirements that refer to how recent the test is. And they are not all the same.


  • COVID test result must be from a sample collected 72 hours (or 5 days or ?) before the flight departs.
  • Or a certain number of hours prior to the time you arrive. In this case you may need to account for time changes, connecting flights and other variables.
  • Do you need to upload a negative test result before you leave for the airport? Can you show it to them on a smartphone?
  • We have had some individuals tell us the test result must be dated within 72 hours before departure. In this case you have more time, but need to understand the turnaround time for the lab.

Why a drive-through site may not work for travel

Many of the government-provided drive through sites at no charge to those being tested. Certainly this is a valuable service, but, in most cases, you will not receive any documentation that is acceptable for travel. The result if often delivered by phone call or text message.

What if your COVID test is positive? Or not in time?

Make sure you understand travel protocols if you test positive for COVID-19 or if you don’t get your test results in time. Many airlines and destinations require the result either to be uploaded to their system or be physically presented at the time of boarding. Some may require a quarantine until your results arrive. And some may not let you board the plane without a negative result in hand.

Make sure you have a plan in case things don’t work out as planned. We get positive tests from asymptomatic people. If it happens to you, what happens with your travel plans?

Details are important.

Finally, pay attention to detail, such as your name, date of birth, and more, as errors are quite common. It may be important that your name on the test results matches the name on your travel documents.

Fit-to-Fly Covid Testing

Below, you’ll find every US state’s rules for travel in alphabetical order (updated 2/9/21)


  1. Alabama: No statewide travel restrictions.
  2. Alaska: You must take a COVID test within 72 hours of departure. The results must be uploaded to the Travel Declaration Form along with a compulsory 5-day quarantine period after arrival.
  3. Arizona: No statewide travel restrictions.
  4. Arkansas: No statewide travel restrictions.
  5. California: Stay-at-home order, and restriction on activities.
  6. Colorado: No statewide travel restrictions. Only Pitkin County, Colorado, requires overnight visitors to submit a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of arrival and complete a health affidavit or 14 days mandatory quarantine.
  7. Connecticut: People traveling from anywhere other than New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island must self-quarantine for 10 days and fill out a travel health form. Failure to quarantine may lead to a $500 fine. An exemption from quarantining is possible if you provide a negative COVID test taken 72 hours before arrival or a negative result for a test taken after arrival.
  8. Delaware: No statewide travel restrictions.
  9. Florida: No statewide travel restrictions.
  10. Georgia: No statewide travel restrictions.
  11. Hawaii: Travelers over five years of age can bypass the 10-day mandatory quarantine by providing a negative COVID test result taken before departure. The result must be uploaded on the Safe Travels system before departure. Or the passenger shows a printed copy before boarding the flight. Visitors to Kauai have to quarantine regardless of the test result.
  12. Idaho: No statewide travel restrictions.
  13. Illinois: No travel restrictions in Illinois except for Chicago. Visitors are in categories (orange and yellow states), depending on the COVID outbreak severity. Orange state visitors must quarantine for ten days or carry a negative test result taken 72 hours before arrival. Yellow state visitors have no specific requirements.
  14. Indiana: No statewide travel restrictions.
  15. Iowa: No statewide travel restrictions.
  16. Kansas: Although mostly open, Kansas has some specific quarantine requirements that change frequently.
  17. Kentucky: Visitors must self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival.
  18. Louisiana: No statewide travel restrictions.
  19. Maine: Travelers must quarantine for ten days after arrival or fill out a travel protocol form stating they received a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours. With the exemption of New Hampshire and Vermont residents.
  20. Maryland: Travelers must either get a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of arrival or self-quarantine for ten days.
  21. Massachusetts: All visitors must complete a travel form before arrival unless they come from a low-risk state. They must quarantine for ten days or provide a negative COVID test result taken 72 hours before arrival. Not doing so may result in a $500 fine.
  22. Michigan: No statewide travel restrictions.
  23. Minnesota: Travelers must quarantine for 14 days following arrival or follow the CDC’s guidelines on shortening their quarantine.
  24. Mississippi: No statewide travel restrictions.
  25. Missouri: No statewide travel restrictions.
  26. Montana: No statewide travel restrictions.
  27. Nebraska: No statewide travel restrictions.
  28. Nevada: No statewide travel restrictions.
  29. New Hampshire: Visitors must quarantine for ten days. The quarantine time can decrease if a negative COVID test taken on day 7 is provided.
  30. New Jersey: Travelers from New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware must self-quarantine at their homes. If travel is unavoidable, a negative viral test taken three days before traveling and 3 to 5 days after arrival is required. Negative result holders must quarantine for seven days after arrival.
  31. New Mexico: Travelers have to self-quarantine for 14 days. With the exemption of travelers from low-risk states.
  32. New York: Travelers may opt-out of the mandatory 10-day quarantine if they provide a negative COVID test taken 72 hours before arrival and fill a Traveler Health Form. States bordering New York are exempted.
  33. North Carolina: No statewide travel restrictions.
  34. North Dakota: No statewide travel restrictions.
  35. Ohio: Travelers from states reporting 15% or more positive testing rates of 15% must self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival.
  36. Oklahoma: No statewide travel restrictions.
  37. Oregon: Travelers should self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival.
  38. Pennsylvania: Travelers must quarantine for ten days or provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken less than 72 hours before arrival.
  39. Rhode Island: Travelers from states with positive testing rates of 5% or more must quarantine for 14 days. Individuals with negative COVID tests taken within 72 hours of their arrival can opt-out of quarantining.
  40. South Carolina: No statewide travel restrictions.
  41. South Dakota: No statewide travel restrictions.
  42. Tennessee: No statewide travel restrictions.
  43. Texas: No statewide travel restrictions.
  44. Utah: No statewide travel restrictions.
  45. Vermont: Travelers must observe a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival for nonessential travel. Quarantine can be shorter when getting a negative COVID PCR test on day seven.
  46. Virginia: No statewide travel restrictions.
  47. Washington, DC: Visitors must get a test 72 hours or less before coming to DC.
  48. Washington State: there is a suggestion for 14-day self-quarantine.
  49. West Virginia: No statewide travel restrictions.
  50. Wisconsin: No statewide travel restrictions.
  51. Wyoming: No statewide travel restrictions.

Need a Fit-T0-Fly COVID test? 

InOut Labs offers saliva and nasal swab PCR tests in Morton Grove. And Saliva PCR Tests nationwide. 847-657-7900.