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BWI, SEATAC AMC Terminals to discontinue rapid, on-site COVID-19 testing services

Col. Matthew Jones, 436th Airlift Wing commander, tests a demo sample on a COVID-19 testing machine at the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in Baltimore, Maryland, Jan. 15, 2021. Passengers must fill out a pre-travel questionnaire and complete an on-site temperature check prior to their flights. If testing is required, they will be sent to the in-house testing center where they will have a nasal swab sample collected and tested. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Quail)

Col. Matthew Jones, 436th Airlift Wing commander, tests a demo sample on a COVID-19 testing machine at the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in Baltimore, Maryland, Jan. 15, 2021. Passengers must fill out a pre-travel questionnaire and complete an on-site temperature check prior to their flights. If testing is required, they will be sent to the in-house testing center where they will have a nasal swab sample collected and tested. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Quail)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --

Beginning July 15, 2021, on-site COVID-19 testing services at Patriot Express aerial ports of embarkation, Baltimore/Washington International Airport, Maryland, and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington, will discontinue.

In accordance with updated Force Health Protection Guidance, passengers traveling through CONUS APOEs must still obtain and present proof of their negative COVID-19 test, vaccination, waiver or recovery before travel, as required by their international destination.

The appropriate COVID-19 documentation is a must-have requirement for travel, similar to official orders and a passport. It’s critical that members and families arrive at the terminal with the correct paperwork to mitigate risk and ensure a smooth and healthy travel experience for all.

For specific details regarding travel documentation requirements, refer to the Electronic Foreign Clearance Guide. Travelers should plan accordingly to ensure sufficient time for scheduling testing appointments or coordinating proof of recovery requirements. These specifications vary between destinations.

In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to meet the long-standing commitments to the United States’ allies and partners, the Department of Defense began rapid, on-site, COVID-19 testing last fall. The testing was provided to Patriot Express passengers departing CONUS-based APOEs.

Since November 2020, 52 Air Force medical professionals deployed to AMC APOEs. These medical professionals administered over 22,000 rapid, on-site, COVID-19 tests.

“Thank you to all of the Airmen who worked diligently for the last seven months conducting testing at our busy Patriot Express terminals,” said Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, AMC commander. “These efforts decreased confusion amid rapidly changing COVID-19 travel requirements and ensured our DoD families and international partners were kept safe.”

Additionally, beginning July 1, 2021, coordination of support services at CONUS-based APOEs for Patriot Express passengers denied boarding due to a positive COVID-19 test, close contact with a COVID-19 patient or suspected COVID-19 infection will discontinue. Suspended support services include transportation, lodging, and sustenance.

The DoD made the data-driven decision to discontinue testing and support services based on several factors including the increased availability of testing centers and COVID-19 vaccines.

Each military service will produce testing-related travel guidance for its members. 

These changes do not affect the current face covering requirements in passenger terminals and PE aircraft. The Center for Disease Control requires all passengers on public conveyances traveling into, within, or out of the United States and U.S. territories, or in transportation hubs in the United States and U.S. territories to properly wear a mask.

Passengers will continue to be symptom-screened to include a written and verbal questionnaire and temperature checked prior to boarding the aircraft.

For site-specific information, travelers should contact their APOE.

Baltimore/Washington International Airport

  • AMC BWI Passenger Gateway Terminal – www.facebook.com/AMCBWIPassengerGateway/
  • Commercial – (609) 253-8825
  • DSN – (312) 568-8825

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

  • Seattle AMC Gateway – https://www.mcchord.af.mil/About-Us/AMC-Seattle-Gateway/
  • Commercial – (253) 982-3504 or (253) 982-0555
  • DSN – (312) 382-3504 or (312) 382-0555

Force Health Protection Guidance:

Supplement 16 - Department of Defense Guidance for Deployment and Redeployment of Individuals and Units during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Supplement 20 - Department of Defense Guidance for Personnel Traveling During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic