With the availability of COVID-19 tests being better now than ever, and the need to test before your leave your home country and again before reentry, you might be wondering if you can bring a COVID test on a plane.

Can I bring COVID tests on a plane?

COVID at home test - can i bring COVID tests with me on a plane?

It depends. You can bring unused COVID tests with you on a plane. As COVID-19 test kits do not contain dangerous goods, they can usually be carried onboard or checked into a bag. 

Used tests are not allowed with you in carry-on bags. For hopefully obvious reasons the TSA doesn’t want COVID-19 tests that contain diagnostic samples like vials of saliva and spit or nasal swabs with human secretions on them from people that might have COVID aboard planes without being aware of it.

Here is a tweet asking the TSA about used tests:

Here is a reply from the TSA:

Please check with your airline(s) before packing used COVID-19 test kits in checked bags or shipping them. Some don’t allow it at all.

If they are allowed, used samples from test kits must be properly identified and packed so they can be handled appropriately during transportation.

Learn how to properly do all of that directly from the U.S Department of Transportation here.

Note that those are U.S regulations and international laws and regulations may be more relaxed or more comprehensive than that

Individual airlines may also have more strict policies. Contact the airline you are flying with to get a full rundown of what you will need to do in your circumstances.

Here is the FAA’s site for how and what to pack and additional information. 

Here is another response from the TSA on Twitter:


How many COVID tests can I bring on a plane?

You can bring as many COVID tests as will reasonably fit in your carry-on bags on your flight.

Looking through the CDC’s and TSA’s websites and the responses TSA has given people on Twitter, I have seen people inquiring about as many as 12 Covid test kits and the TSA being fine with it. 

Can I fly with unopened at-home COVID tests in my carry-on?

video #1 Travelonthefly.com

Yes, according to the TSA you can take unused unopened at-home COVID tests in your carry-on luggage. If they were used test kits you would not be allowed to bring them. 

Check these quickly before booking your flights

It can prevent inconvenience to you and your travel plans if you check specific COVID-19 alerts here and international travel advisories here

You don’t want to get stuck, like my brother did, in a foreign country and miss connecting flights because you didn’t know that you needed to have proof of quarantine and a negative test within 24 hours of your returning flight, should that be required of you. 

Should I fly if I’m sick?

And remember to please stay home and don’t travel if you are feeling ill. You don’t want to be the one to endanger the lives of other passengers or the lives of those they come in contact with. 

Check with your airline. Most are very flexible and allow people to reschedule flights for any reason and with no issue or charge. 

Current travel guidelines and restriction information from the CDC

Here is the CDC’s site with specific suggestions on delaying or postponing your travel if you are sick.

And here is the CDC’s site with information about requirements for international travel and travel to and from the United States as it relates to COVID-19.

Quick Recap: Can I bring COVID tests on a plane?

Yes and No. If your tests are new and have not been used, you may bring them in your carry-on or checked luggage. If the COVID tests you want to bring have been used you may not bring them on a plane. 

Some airlines may let you bring them in checked luggage, but you would need to contact them directly and make sure you are able to.

I hope this article helped. Travel safe! You might be interested in some of these other articles.

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