COVID-19 tests for international travel: What you need to know at MSP Airport

"I have people calling frantic saying, ‘I still want to travel but I don’t know how. How do I go about getting a COVID-19 test?’" said Amber Spencer, founder of the travel agency Wanderlust Vacation Vibes.

That’s the main question from Spencer’s clients now that travelers coming to and from the United States are required to take a COVID-19 test.   

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines, which go into effect on Jan. 26 for all U.S. citizens and residents. If you do not show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, you will not be able to board your flight.    

According to the CDC’s guidelines, a verifiable test result must be presented as written documentation, paper, or electronic copy, of a laboratory test result. Testing must be performed using a viral test (NAAT or antigen) no more than three days before departure.  

So, if your flight leaves on a Sunday, you want to have that test done on Thursday at the earliest  

Tests results must identify the passenger, note the date the specimen was taken, and the type of test. Antibody tests and proof of vaccination do not qualify currently.    

In a statement to FOX 9, a Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport spokesperson wrote that while the state offers a testing site at the airport, "it is not a rapid test, so travelers need to plan ahead to get the test and the results in time for their trip."  

"If you’re traveling internationally, the first thing I would recommend is to check with where the resort is and what they offer because many resorts offer complimentary testing for their guests," said Spencer.  

She adds that if your accommodation is not offering a testing site to check with your airline.  

Statement from Delta Airlines:  

"We have developed a dedicated COVID-19 testing resource available on, highlighting testing locations across our international network that offers one or more of the approved tests. We’ve also issued a waiver allowing customers to rebook international travel to the U.S. purchased on or before Jan. 12 for travel through Feb. 9, if their rebooked travel begins on or before Jan. 25." 

Statement from United Airlines:  

"United launched a Travel-Ready Center where customers can find all the information that they need for requirements for where they are traveling including nearby testing locations and the ability to upload their test results to the United app to make their travel easier. You can find more information on the Travel-Ready Center here."