How Travelers to the US Can Get COVID Tests Abroad?
Are you heading to the US from abroad and looking for an appointment for getting the covid-19 test before the departure?
Well, covid-19 testing has ramped up in the US and is made available including hotels and airports. Travel companies are helping international travelers to get tested or find testing sites in their destination.
If you will be heading to the US from abroad, you need to get a Covid-19 test before your departure.
Before you make sure you have access to reliable testing abroad, you need to understand the latest travel rules and restrictions for the destination you are planning to travel to.
In addition to having a plan to get tested, international travels must also be aware of the guidelines if their test results come positive.
What is the new testing requirement to travel to the US?
All international travelers flying to the United States including – returning US citizens or permanent residents – must produce proof of negative covid-19 test.
These tests can be either a viral antigen test or a PCR test in electronic document or paper. The results must be procured no more than 72 hours before the departure and must include the name of the passenger, date of collection, and type of test.
For travelers with a connected flight, the test must procure no more than 72 hours before the initial date of their journey.
Those who are already recovered from Covid-19 must produce proof of positive test results and a declaration from a healthcare professional declaring that they have been recovered from Covid-19 3-months before the departure.
Where to find a coronavirus test before you travel?
There are several places offering coronavirus testing. From fire stations to airports, travel clinics, urgent care centers, etc – you can get tested anywhere. Although you can walk into the testing sites without an appointment – it is advised to take a prior appointment.
In the light of CDC’s new requirement for Covid-19 testing, some travel companies are offering their clients Covid-19 testing as a part of their travel arrangements.
Besides this – American airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines are providing passengers with international testing information.
If you can’t find a testing site nearby, you can order an at-home Covid-19 testing kit from Global Village Health. Any individual above 18 years old can order Covid-19 test kits online and get tested for coronavirus.
What kind of coronavirus test to expect?
If you are going for a coronavirus test to meet your travel requirement, you need to understand the type of test. There are two types of tests –
- Viral test to detect your current state of infection
- Antibody test to detect if you had an infection in the past
Opt for an RT-PCR test to find out if you have coronavirus. In this test, the nasal or throat swabs are collected and sent to labs for testing. The results tend to be more sensitive and take around 24-48 hours to get the results.
Another option is the rapid test that gives results instantly within 15 minutes. The results tend to be less sensitive and may even miss infected people.
Sometimes, the test results are based on the level of infection. If the traveler is severely infected, the rapid tests can easily pick the virus.
How to book a coronavirus test before a trip?
Well, travelers need to find the right spot to book an appointment for coronavirus testing. Make sure to plan so that you get sufficient time to nullify the test result. Avoid planning the test too close to the departure date, as the results may get delayed, sometimes.
If you need to be tested for coronavirus before travel and can’t get tested by a healthcare professional, you can consider ordering a self-test kit without leaving your home. These self-test kits are available over-the-counter or by prescription. These kits can only be used to detect current infections in your body.
Some of these tests require nasal specimen that can be collected using a nasal swab, whereas other tests require saliva specimens.
If you are looking for a home test kit, you can order readily available sample test kits from Global Village Health and get results within 24-36 hours. Take the coronavirus test without leaving the comfort of your home and get secure results.
Some RT-PCR results come in a couple of days, whereas rapid test results come in minutes. Having a flexible travel schedule will help you avoid last-minute anxiety.
Remember that pre-travel testing could significantly reduce the risk of spreading the virus, provided the test results are produced before you board the flight.
Besides, you need to get tested post-arrival to prevent the risk of spreading infection at the destination (In case you are infected during travel). Even if you test negative, you are advised to stay at home for 7 days as a precautionary measure.
What if a traveler is tested positive?
If the traveler is tested positive at any destination, he/she will not be able to move further. The airlines will deny boarding the passenger who is tested positive or doesn’t provide complete reports of their tests.
The positively tested traveler must stay at the same destination until he/she is completely recovered. Hence, those who choose to travel to the US should stay prepared to make their medical arrangements in case of any medical emergency.
Those planning to travel internationally need to get tested no more than 3 days before the travel and carry negative test results.
With coronavirus vaccinations becoming widely available, CDC recently cleared fully vaccinated people for travel. Fully vaccinated passengers can travel within the United States and do not need to get tested.
For those who decide to travel, healthcare officials recommend waiting for at least 2 weeks after becoming fully vaccinated.
It is advised to carry a ‘digital vaccine’ or ‘vaccine passport’ that shows you are vaccinated. Also, it is important to check the measures and guidelines of the state before you travel to your destination.
Get tested before and after travel to prevent the virus from spreading!