Your choices for COVID-19 tests for returning to the U.S.

Empty Lighthouse is a reader-supported site. This article may contain affiliate links to Amazon and other sites. We earn a commission on purchases made through these links.

Even though we no longer need masks or vaccinations to travel, U.S. residents do need a certified negative COVID-19 test to return to the country.

But how do you get one on a hectic trip? There are a few options, some of which are much easier than others.

The most common way to get a COVID-19 test to re-enter the U.S. is by finding a testing center on your trip. You can ask your hotel to provide you names of valid testing companies.

Some will require you to go to them, but others can come and do a test in your hotel.

This can be easy, but it ends up being costly. Not all areas allow you to be tested in your hotel; in some areas, you will need to visit the local hospital or urgent care center for this service.

If you plan to go this route, make sure to ask the hotel about it early in your trip, since it can take several days to schedule and actually get the appointment.

A new, easier way to get tested is virtually.  The U.S. allows you to be tested via telehealth in order to re-enter the U.S.  The way this works is that you purchase a test kit before leaving, which you use on the last day of your trip.  When you take the test, a certified administrator will watch you via video call (Zoom or something like it).  Then the administrator will provide a certified result, and this certified result is accepted by the U.S. for entry.

If you do go with this option, you can get the test from here.

Make sure you don't let the test get too hot during your trip (it should be in your carry-on in the airplane).

Some in the past have had to wait a long time for the telehealth visit, but it seems like this problem has been solved.

The COVID-19 testing requirement for re-entry into the U.S. can be a bit cumbersome, but with telehealth options, it is much easier.