What Type Of Covid Test do I need when travelling?

What Type Of Covid Test do I need when travelling?

Written by Adonis Hakk

August 4, 2021

More than a year into the pandemic of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease, the global effort to develop and distribute vaccine doses worldwide has produced promising results. With millions of people getting immunized against the virus, the need for coronavirus testing is changing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who have been fully vaccinated can travel and with less risk of acquiring and spreading the virus. Additionally, they will not be required to get tested before or after travel unless their target destination has strict protocols that require it.

Travellers who plan to travel abroad must provide a negative Covid-19 test before their flight, even if they are fully jabbed. The question is, “What type of coronavirus test do people need for travelling”?

Types of Tests

  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test is used to directly screen and identify the presence of viral RNA, considered as the most accurate for detecting an active infection. Sample collection is done using a swab inserted into the nose to collect respiratory material.
  • Antigen test is often called a “Rapid test” due to its quick turnaround time. The sample is collected the same way as a PCR test: however, these tests are more likely to miss an active infection and may produce false-negative results.
  • An antibody test or a Serology test is used for finding antibodies to the coronavirus. This test cannot diagnose an active infection and might not be helpful for travelling. Instead, it tells whether an individual has been infected at some point in the past.

For International Travel

Many countries require incoming passengers to provide a recent negative test result to limit the spread of the virus. The type of COVID-19 test an individual must take during international travel will depend on where they are going.

In the US, travellers are allowed to enter with negative results of a PCR or an Antigen test, which must be taken three days before departure. England has a similar protocol, accepting results from both types of tests. But still, travellers would have to stay updated and informed of the UK traffic light system to determine which rule to follow regarding testing and quarantine.

For Domestic Travel

People travelling domestically will not need a negative COVID-19 test result unless required by local, state, or territorial health authorities. It is best to stay informed about specific destination’s travel advice to know which type of test they require.

Who needs to get a test to travel?

Anyone who needs to travel might need a negative test result to enter destinations, especially when travelling abroad – either because the destination requires it for entry or to return. People who have yet to get vaccinated expect stricter testing requirements.

Where to find a COVID-19 test for travel?

Multiple places are offering coronavirus testing for travel. Such locations include clinics, urgent care centers, most hospitals, pharmacies, and even airports. Potential travelers have many options for testing, but it is advisable to contact a primary care provider or opting for a private COVID-19 test.

When travelling, walking into testing sites might prove to be a hassle. Waiting until the last minute to arrange a test might take time and potentially postpone travel plans if the test results arrive late.

It is best to contact a government-approved testing provider like Harley Medic Global, which offers fast coronavirus test results for travel. You can send them an email at info@harleymedic.co.uk or call them directly at 0330 390 3666 .


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