With more countries lifting their travel bands, most people can now travel. However, travellers still need to meet certain travel requirements, and the process is more stressful for many people.
Most countries require you to get a COVID-19 test before the trip. Before getting the test, you may have to self-quarantine for a few days. The test result has to be negative to get approval for the trip and gain entrance into your travel destination.
A negative COVID-19 result can let you enter some countries, but it is not full-proof,and you can still contract the virus during your trip. However, getting the test is an important step in preplanning a trip.
Where can you get a COVID-19 for travel?
Different places offer COVID-19 PCR test for travel, such as walk-in clinics, travel clinics, some airports, and urgent care centres. However, before you get a COVID-19 test for your trip, ensure you contact your primary health care provider to help you find a suitable testing centre in your area.
You can also visit your city health department’s official website to find a list of approved COVID-19 testing centres. Some testing centres attend to people without an appointment, but you may need to call in advance to schedule an appointment for your COVID-19 testing. Waiting for the last minute before getting your COVID-19 test for travel may not be advisable because some testing centres have limited testing supplies.
You can also order an online COVID-19 test kit to be delivered by post if you can’t find an in-person testing centre. However, most countries require you to have a travel certificate signed by a certified healthcare provider. The cost of the PCR test for travel varies depending on where you get the test.
What kind of COVID-19 test do I need?
Different COVID-19 tests are available, including those that check for COVID-19 antibodies found after a previous infection and the viral material present during an active infection.
The different tests use several variables to confirm whether a person is positive or negative. Most countries require travellers to get a diagnostic or viral test like the RT-PCR test. This test involves taking a throat or nasal swab and, in some cases,a saliva sample.
Another option is the rapid diagnostic test, which gives you a result within 15 minutes. Two types of COVID-19 rapid tests are available, antigen and molecular test.
Some experts believe that the rapid test may be less sensitive and can miss several active infections, so the efficacy of the test will depend on the traveller’s level of infectiousness. The test may likely pick up the virus in people with more virus in their body.
When do I need a COVID-19 test before a trip?
Different countries have a specific time to get the COVID-19 test before a trip. Getting the test too early may disrupt your trip, and you may not gain entry into your travel destination. If you get your test late, you may have delays with the result and may not meet up your trip.
The different COVID-19 test has varying turnaround time. The rapid tests take only a few minutes. RT-PCR test result takes between 2 – 4 days, but some people wait for weeks before getting their result.
Regardless of when the testing centre promises to deliver your result, there is the risk of a delay, which is a problem for people who need a negative test result to enter their travel destination.
Ensure you have a flexible travel schedule to avoid disappointments. Find out the required test timeline of your travel destination and take your test within the approved time.
Do I need a test before, during or after a trip?
A COVID-19 test before your trip can help prevent the spread of the virus, and pre-travel testing is a measure by most countries to reduce the risk of Infectedpersons entering their country. Getting the COVID-19 test after your trip also reduced the risk of spreading the virus at home, and some countries also need patients to get the test on arrival.
Having a negative test result before your trip does not guarantee your safety. It only means you didn’t have the virus at the time of testing, or the infection was in the early stage and not detected by the test. Your negative test result does not protect you from contracting the infection during your trip, so ensure you adhere to the safety precautions.
Wear your face mask, practise social distancing, avoid crowded places and touching your face or high-risk surface, wash your hand often and use a hand sanitiser.
Ensure you consider your health condition and your risk of a serious illness from COVID-19 infection before planning a trip regardless of your COVID-19 test result.If you need a PCR Covid Test for Travel before your trip, visit PCR Test London today or call us on 020 31376952 to schedule an appointment.