Flying out JFK and not sure about the COVID testing requirements? Here’s what you need to know before planning a trip to or via the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York.
JKF was one of the first airports in the country to offer an air travel COVID-19 monitoring program. Several health groups offer free COVID testing to international travelers arriving from certain countries in collaboration with the CDC.
In fact, the COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating was awarded to New York JFK Airport based on the hygiene procedures and other prevention strategies implemented to help decrease the transmission of the Coronavirus.
The COVID-19 Airport Rating takes into account cleaning and disinfection procedures and consistency. It also considers social distancing rules and control, face mask usage, sanitizer availability, the standard and use of PPE by airport workers, and other hygiene processes.
Note: JFK Airport does not perform temperature checks before allowing passengers to enter the terminal. The TSA will also not conduct any temperature checks during the screening process. Please get in touch with your carrier directly if your airline requires temperature checks before boarding.
Do I need a COVID test to enter JFK?
If a negative test is required to go to your destination, the airport recommends that you obtain a test prior to arriving at the airport. NYC Health + Hospitals offers testing using the Standard Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test and the Rapid Antigen Test, with results available in as little as one hour.
Do you need a COVID test to fly into JFK?
JFK strongly advises that departing international travelers complete their required COVID-19 testing before arriving at the airport. However, if that’s not possible, due to any reason, the airport offers testing at Terminals 1, 4, 7, and 8.
For international flights, travelers must check with their airline and destination country to confirm the type of test necessary for each trip. Certain destinations need tests to be performed by particular labs. For more information, please contact your airline. COVID-19 testing is readily available across New York State. Individuals with COVID-19 testing questions should contact the New York State COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or visit the NYSDOH website.
Does JFK Airport do a PCR test?
Yes, JFK Airport does provide travelers the facility to do RT-PCR tests at the airport. However, there have been reports of passengers waiting for hours during the holidays and other peak travel times.
Terminal 1, Departures Level (Pre-Security)
Adams Health Services provides COVID testing at JFK Terminal 1 using RT-PCR test with results available in two to three hours. Antibody testing is also available. Testing is offered from 8 am to 11 pm daily.
Note: They recommend that you pre-register online for testing via your smartphone before arriving at the airport to avoid long waiting times.
Terminal 4, Arrivals Level (Pre-Security)
XpresCheck offers testing using PCR and Rapid RT-PCR tests, with results available in as little as an hour. to 8 pm. Testing is done from 6 am to 8 pm from Monday through Friday, and 9 am to 8 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Terminal 7, Departures Level – Main Entrance
Adams Health Services provides testing at Terminal 7 too. This is also s an RT-PCR test (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Test). Testing hours are 8 am to 11 pm.
Terminal 8, Red Parking Garage
NYC Health + Hospitals offers COVID testing at JFK Airport using PCR and rapid antigen assays, with results available in as little as an hour. The testing facility is open every day from 8 am to 7 pm.
Do I need to wear a mask at JFK Airport?
Yes, because Federal Law requires you to wear a mask at the airport. Failure to wear a mask may result in denied boarding on aircraft, restricted access to, and/or removal from the airport. Refusal to wear a mask is a violation of federal law, and passengers and personnel may face criminal, civil, or both penalties. All other airport public facilities, including the AirTrain and buses, require face coverings.
We recommend that you take all precautions, and stay safe while traveling to or from JFK Airport. You should also try to avoid public transport, and drive down yourself. To minimize touchpoints, you can book your contactless JFK parking spot ahead of your journey.
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