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  • COVID Testing for Travel

    10/23/2020 7:35:49 AM Link 0 comments | Add comment

     

    Many countries and some states now require proof of a negative COVID test before being allowed entry. Requirements and tests are constantly-moving targets! While we can’t provide information for every location here, because it would be outdated so quickly, we do want to provide a list of questions you should be asking to make sure you fully understand the situation if you are traveling to a country with COVID testing requirements.

     

     

    What kind of test is required? The primary tests out there are the PCR test and the rapid test. Some destinations allow either test; some require the PCR test. Make sure you know what kind of test you need. There are also some other tests, such as the antibody test, a saliva test, and an at-home test. Generally, these are not acceptable for travel.

     

    When do I need to take the test? Most destinations will give you a number of hours between when you need to take the test and when you can travel. The key here is knowing if the hours refer to the time you depart on your first flight or the time you land in the destination. For a long flight, this can make a big difference. You will need to schedule your testing so that you have time to complete the test and get the results before you board the aircraft. With the length of time it is taking some areas to complete testing, this can sometimes be a challenge.

     

    Will there be testing options at my destination? Some countries and states offer COVID testing in the airport when you land. Make sure you understand whether this is mandatory or optional, as well as the costs associated with it.

     

    How do I submit my test results? Each destination has a different method for ensuring that you are COVID-free when you arrive. Some require you to upload your test results to a website before you depart. Others require you to have a piece of paper in hand when you land. You may also need to complete a government health questionnaire and/or meet requirements for health insurance.

     

    How much does a COVID test cost? If you are being tested because you show symptoms or have been in contact with a COVID-positive person, your testing will likely not cost you anything. If you are being tested for travel, your testing will likely cost $100+.

     

    Where can I get a COVID test? CVS is the largest nationwide company offering COVID testing for travelers. CVS pharmacies in the Charlottesville area, as well as other companies, are able to conduct these tests for you. You may want to discuss this with your primary care doctor.

     

    What happens if I show up at my destination without proof of a negative COVID test? Each destination has different processes in place, but most of them require a 14-day quarantine of some sort. Make sure you understand what can happen if you don’t have your test results in time, if your test results do not meet with the time requirement, if you have not followed the correct processes, etc.

     

     

    One last note: make sure you also understand COVID testing requirements that aren’t necessarily related to a destination. For example, some airlines, cruise lines, and other tour operators are requiring negative COVID tests. The questions will be helpful for these circumstances too.

     

    For more interesting news on COVID testing, check out this article about an app on your phone that can hold your COVID test results and standardize the worldwide processes for COVID testing requirements. While it’s not standard yet, this or something like it could become standard practice in the future as the tourism industry seeks ways to get people traveling again.

     

    As always, here at Globe Travel, we are happy to help our clients understand the requirements for their travel.

     

     

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