International visitors no longer need to present a negative COVID-19 test to enter the United States. This regulation change brought cheer to a sluggish travel sector. Stressed-out travelers dreading a last-minute scurry for swabbing before flying were also happy. But what if you need a test before flying out of SFO because your destination requires it? What are the SFO COVID testing options, and what are the current rules in place at the airport? Here’s what we know.
What are the rules for international travelers at SFO Airport?
The COVID test mandate was rolled back. However, for more information, you can check the CDC’s guidance for Non-U.S. citizens, Non-U.S. immigrants: Air Travel to the United States.
What are the guidelines for traveling to San Francisco?
Follow these CDC travel rules for testing, masking, and quarantine whether you are traveling domestically or internationally:
- Delay your trip until you’ve taken the vaccine and the booster.
- If you haven’t taken your vaccine or booster yet and want to travel, get your test before and after.
- Non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. immigrants must be immunized to enter the United States.
- Travelers should perferably wear a mask while using public transit or in a transportation hub, regardless of your vaccination status.
- Whether vaccinated or not, get tested 3-5 days after arriving in California.
What are the guidelines for traveling from SFO?
Travelers should research reliable government websites for their destination and connecting locations before purchasing a ticket. If a negative COVID-19 test result is necessary, passengers are strongly advised to be informed of the sorts of tests that are approved. They should also know for how long test results are valid, and get those findings before departing their original airport. Travelers should also be aware of whatever restrictions their airline(s) may have, such as health paperwork, masks, and so on. You can check the health requirements on the International Air Transport Association’s COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map.
Do I need to wear a mask at the SFO Airport?
You can now enter SFO without a mask. However, a well-fitting mask or respirator over the nose and mouth is currently recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for everyone 2 years of age and older, including passengers and workers, when in enclosed public transportation (airplanes, trains, etc.) and transportation hubs (such as airports, stations, etc.). Research the CDC’s advice on masks for air travel.
Are there any COVID testing facilities at SFO?
Travelers at SFO can make use of three on-site COVID-19 testing services:
- Worksite Labs: Drive-thru testing is next to the Long-Term Parking Lot and the Cell Phone Waiting Lot; in-terminal testing is in the International Terminal Departures. Hall
- GoHealth-Dignity Health Urgent Care: Their services are available in the International Terminal Departures Hall.
- XpresCheck: You’ll find it on Terminal 3’s Arrivals Level.
You should make appointments beforehand because of space constraints. All available slots at that test center are occupied if an appointment is unavailable. Walk-in testing is also possible on a first-come, first-served basis, but there is no assurance that you will be tested. If possible, passengers should get tested the day before their departure. You must have a valid boarding card or airline reservation to access these services.
Travelers must check with their airline and destination to confirm the type of test required for each journey. Some destinations require specific labs to conduct tests.
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