Are you traveling amidst the COVID-19 pandemic? Here is all you need to know about getting tested for coronavirus before travel!
The outbreak of coronavirus has taken the world by storm and changed the lives of many. The pandemic continues to pose severe challenges to global health in several countries.
With many states in the United States mandating 14-day quarantine to visitors upon arrival, the extent of disruption has decreased.
While positive cases are beginning to trend downward, new variants of coronavirus have emerged and countries are taking additional steps to strengthen healthcare services.
The need for coronavirus testing has changed in the United States, as hundreds of millions of vaccine doses have already been distributed.
For domestic travel within the United States (except for Hawaii) once you are fully vaccinated, you do not have to get tested. However, international travel to and from the United States still requires proof of a negative test, even if the person is fully vaccinated.
There is still much confusion surrounding who should be exempted from testing while traveling.
Read on to find out more details…..
Who is required to get tested before traveling?
For those of you who haven’t had the vaccination yet, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting tested before traveling. Below is the case of domestic travel within the United States.
- You will need to get tested before 1-3 days of the travel and 3-5 days after the trip.
- Additionally, without having taken all the doses of the vaccine, you will be required to quarantine yourself at home for a week after you return.
For those who have been fully vaccinated, the following are the updated guidelines.
- Fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to travel within the U.S. if they took the FDA-authorized vaccine or the emergency doses by the WHO.
- Fully vaccinated travelers need not self-quarantine themselves.
- Fully vaccinated travelers should ensure to wear masks properly and maintain social distance and hygiene.
International travelers are required to get tested before and it is suggested to test after traveling. Most international destinations demand a negative COVID test to allow entry into the country.
While returning to the U.S., you would need to get tested again regardless of your vaccination status.
How to get tested?
If you need a coronavirus test before travel, you would want to know what type of test you need to take and how long it will take to get an appointment.
Getting tested for the coronavirus is a routine thing these days. You can get tested in health centers, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and even in airports.
The best advice would be to check with your trustworthy healthcare representative to know the best options within your area to get tested. If you are planning to travel out of the country, you can obtain the most up-to-date testing requirements for your desired destination by reviewing the country’s Embassy’s website.
You can get tested within the comfort of your home by ordering sample test kits from Global Village Health. The sample would be shipped back to the lab and you will get the results in 24-36 hours. The collected samples are examined under the supervision of healthcare professionals using industry best practices and hence you can rest assured about the accuracy of the results.
Which test shall you take?
There are different tests you are expected to take according to your requirement. The viral test detects whether you are infected by the coronavirus currently. An antibody test, on the other hand, can help us understand before exposure to the Coronavirus in the recent past.
- RT-PCR: If travel is your concern, the ideal test would be the RT-PCR test. This can determine if you have any active virus right before traveling. These tests are performed by taking nasal or saliva samples using cotton swabs. Universally accepted for travel to most countries.
- Rapid Tests: There are rapid diagnostic tests that reveal results in fifteen minutes. These tests may be antigen or molecular. There is an impending skepticism surrounding the accuracy of antigen tests. Not universally accepted for travel to most destinations, however, can be accepted upon re-entry into the United States.
When should you test?
With a surge in testing all around the country, planning your test is a task. You wouldn’t want to delay it too much or get tested too early.
Decide on the date of your trip, plan wisely on getting tested. Leave some room for technical delays in getting results back, if possible avoid traveling on the day you receive your test results. If you postpone it to the eleventh hour, there is a risk of delayed results which may lead to your rescheduling or canceling your travel plans.
At Global Village Health we recommend taking your test 2 to 3 days before you travel. Test results are guaranteed typically within 24 hours once received by our trusted lab partners. Our COVID PCR testing has received rave reviews from our customers
If your destination requires you to carry a negative certificate, prolonging the test is never ideal.
When should you get tested while traveling?
Most international travel regardless of vaccination status will require a test before you get on that flight. Pre-flight testing reduces the risk of further spread of COVID-19. Remember that you are also responsible for the lives of others in these unprecedented times.
CDC guidelines clearly state that you are recommended to stay quarantined upon returning from your trip, even if your test shows negative. According to studies, 5-40% of the time – a negative diagnosis in a test result can be wrong.
Every person gets infected differently. Some may remain asymptomatic during the time they contract the virus while others are symptomatic. This can pose higher risks. In that case, staying quarantined for at least 10 days after traveling is recommended.
The guidelines remain the same. Whether or not you are vaccinated and/or exposed to the coronavirus, you have to follow the protocols. Masking up, social distancing, and washing your hands repeatedly are the only ways with which you can reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
Medical experts agree that there is no way to minimalize the risk down to zero. We are always exposed to the possibility of contracting coronavirus.
Your safety is clearly in your own hands. During such ‘testing’ times, make sure that you act responsibly!