How to Get a COVID Test for Travel

How to Get a COVID Test for Travel

If you are a traveler during the COVID pandemic, you may be wondering about how to get a COVID test for your travel plans. Which test is the right one for your situation? Is there a sweet spot in timing for your coronavirus testing before a trip? Plan it too early, and possibly catch the virus before your departure date. Cut it too close combined with a delay in your results, you’ll risk spreading the virus or possibly being denied entry to certain destinations. Let’s get right to your test and timing options, so you can get to your destination safely.

We will focus on the Instant Covid-19 Test (antigen) and the RT-PCR. Currently, diagnosis of COVID-19 is typically made using a standard RT-PCR, which requires specialized materials, equipment, personnel, and transportation to a centralized laboratory. Due to these extra steps and intricacies, interest in Instant COVID Tests has been high. 

When to get tested before travel

The timing of your coronavirus test before your travel is key. What is the right number of days or hours before travel to get your test results and feel confident about traveling? This can depend on a few factors, such as which type of COVID Test fits your situation.

The RT-PCR test for coronavirus is the standard virus test that gives results in 3-5 days. You would schedule this accordingly ahead of your travel departure date.

The Instant COVID Test is just that, practically instant; so, you can elect this test on the day of travel or perhaps the day prior. Either way, scheduling your testing at Bluestar Diagnostics with these options is your best bet.

Read More: How to Travel and Stay Safe During the COVID Holidays

What is a RT-PCR test for coronavirus? What is an Instant covid-19 test

RT-PCR stands for Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction. This is a term for taking a strand of viral RNA (Coronavirus is an RNA virus) and turning it into a strand of RNA/DNA hybrid. The result is positive if there is COVID-19 virus in the patient’s cells. RT-PCR is the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended diagnostic test for COVID-19 for the current Coronavirus pandemic. 

Instant COVID Tests are antigen tests that give results within 30 minutes and are efficient at detecting virus at high viral loads so you know if you are in a contagious state. Please note that this is different than the similarly-named Rapid Covid Test. 

Antigen tests have been used regularly to detect strep throat, influenza, tuberculosis, HIV and other contagious diseases, so the medical field is familiar with this method.

The benefits of Instant COVID-19 testing are:

  • Receive fast, accurate results.
  • Lower Cost than other options.
  • Know whether you can travel or need to isolate to avoid transmitting the virus to others and travel safely in the future.
  • An increase in testing could help stop the spread of COVID-19.

 What is required to travel?

In order to know what is required for your travel, first check with your Airline for their requirements or restrictions for travelers. Most state, local, and territorial governments have requirements – such as requiring people to wear masks and requiring those who recently traveled to stay home for up to 14 days. Check state, territorial, tribal and local public health websites for information before you travel. If you are traveling internationally, check the destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the  US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information for details about entry requirements, mandatory testing and restrictions for arriving travelers.

What are the current CDC guidelines for quarantines at your destination?

This can vary a lot from place to place so it is important to find out if your destination requires any form of quarantine. Check out these links for up-to-date information.

Knowing your test results with the Instant COVID Test or the RT-PCR test from Blue Diagnostics will reduce the risk of transportation-associated COVID-19 infection. As a traveler, you will get the safe green light to be allowed travel. This Instant COVID test gives you back some control and peace of mind in your travel plans while allowing you to be admitted to your travel destination.

Maybe having a negative test result will give you the time you need to isolate, recover and re-test and travel as soon as possible. Do you feel like it would be irresponsible to travel without getting a test first? This is another reason the Instant COVID Test could be for you.

Here’s the key: Taking this Instant COVID test gives positive results during the time period in which you can spread the virus to others. We can all do our part to improve the pandemic by using Instant COVID testing when needed. If the results of the testing are known and acted upon before travel begins, this will have a positive impact on this pandemic and your individual travel plans. Call Bluestar Diagnostics at (469) 656-7999 to Schedule your INSTANT COVID Test today.