How to get a PCR Test for Travel
It’s been more than a year and a half since we heard the first news about the Corona virus. Back then, only a few people believed that this disease can change the world we live in so substantially. Even now, it doesn’t seem like we have it entirely figured out, but life has to return to normal at some point. And in our eyes, there’s nothing that we missed more than traveling to remote destinations.
If you are a U.S. citizen and you have a burning desire to cross the border, just know that you will probably need to have a PCR test done. Just how and where can you get this done? We’ll try to cover this topic in detail in the article below.
Find out what type of PCR test you need
In case you were wondering, the abbreviation PCR stands for polymerase chain reaction. As things stand at the moment of writing this article, this test remains the most recognized procedure for determining whether a person has Corona virus or not. Generally speaking, the results usually arrive anywhere from 24 to 72 hours after testing, and they remain valid for the next 72 hours.
It is also possible to perform a rapid PCR test, where the results arrive back within less than one hour. However, depending on your destination of choice, certain countries can present problems with the validity of this type of testing, so make sure to double-check the information ahead of your trip.
Visit Medical and Urgent Care Centers
Regardless of the state where you’re from, the safest bet is to generally search for medical and urgent care centers. These facilities are located around the country and tend to be cheaper than private laboratories. In some cases, your insurance could be enough, but you just have to accept the fact that medical centers that offer free PCR testing tend to be the most crowded.
However, it is oftentimes possible to set up an appointment online. We would advise you to test this option, as waiting in line can take ages, while filling out the online forms should take no more than a couple of minutes of your time.
Have you considered getting tested at the airport?
While this option might not be the cheapest, it might come in handy to some travelers. Several major airports around the country now offer PCR testing. Still, be careful if you choose this option.
If you decide to get tested at the airport, take into consideration the fact that you’re still going to have to wait for 48 hours before your results arrive. For the few individuals that live close to their airport of choice, this might be a viable option, but others might want to reconsider their decision.
On the other hand, rapid PRC testing is also available at some locations, but if you choose this option, be prepared to pay more, as the costs of this test can vary anywhere from $100 to $250. For the travelers who are in a rush, this might be acceptable, but if you want to save a bit of money, it might be better to fill out an online form and schedule regular PCR testing at some of the nearby health centers.
Check out the private laboratories near you
Not every private laboratory is certified to do PCR testing, but those that are might be the best option for travelers who want to schedule their appointment in no time. These labs can be found throughout the country, and it’s not easy to pinpoint the price of testing, as it can vary greatly from one place to another.
It is also important to note that some countries might not accept all PCR results from private laboratories, so make sure to always stick to those that possess all the necessary accreditations. In that way, you will avoid any potential problems and costs of additional PCR testing upon reaching your destination.
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