The outbreak of Covid-19 has created unprecedented challenges for travelers and the travel industry alike. With all countries imposing restrictions on international travel, it is important to know the testing requirements before embarking on a journey. This article discusses the various testing requirements and other considerations when travelling during this pandemic.
1. Testing Companies: No Guarantee
When looking for a Covid-19 test prior to travel, many travelers turn to private companies offering PCR tests with results in as little as 6 hours. However, these companies do not usually guarantee that the results will be provided in time for the flight. Therefore, it is advisable to plan ahead and book the test well in advance so that there is enough time for the results to come back.
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2. RTPCR Test at Airports
Many airports provide RTPCR tests at the airport itself, however, the results can take more than 6 hours. If you have not done the test beforehand, then you should arrive at the airport at least 12 hours early to get it done. It is always recommended to visit a nearby government hospital or authorized lab instead. The purpose of the PCR test is to ensure that the traveller is not infected with the virus. For international travel, most countries require a turnaround time of 72 hours before travel is permitted. Without this report, passengers will not be allowed to check in.
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3. CDC Order for China Travelers
On December 30th 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order requiring all airline passengers traveling to the United States from the People’s Republic Of China to present a negative Covid-19 test result or documentation of recovery from Covid-19. Starting January 5th 2023, this requirement applies to all air passengers 2 years of age and older traveling to the US from the People’s Republic of China.
4. Domestic Fliers: Check Destination State
For domestic fliers, it is necessary to check the destination state's regulations regarding Covid-19 testing. Some states may require a negative Covid-19 test report within 72 hours of departure while others may only require self-quarantine upon arrival. It is best to research the specific requirements of your destination state and plan accordingly.
Travelers must keep in mind the various Covid-19 testing requirements when planning their trips. Private companies providing PCR tests cannot guarantee that the results will be available in time for the flight. Therefore, it is advised to plan ahead and book the test well in advance. Additionally, travelers must also familiarize themselves with the regulations of the destination state regarding Covid-19 testing.