Is it Worth the Trouble to Travel Overseas?
Here are the top questions being asked:
If I travel overseas and need a test to enter a country or re-enter the United States, how hard is it to find a test center?
When we went to Ixtapan Resort in Mexico there was no test to enter Mexico. To return, the required antigen/rapid test was given by the hotel’s nurse. Results from a local laboratory are ready same day. When you check in, for your flight to the US, airline personnel examine the document and off you go. There is no delay. There is a testing center in the airport if you need it.
Where can I get tested in Europe?
This varies by country. Here is a good consumer link. For some tours, like our Emirates trip, we organize group testing ahead of time. For Greece we are doing the same.
What are the different tests?
Without getting medical, there is the rapid test which US airlines accept for inbound travel for citizens from most destinations. There is the PCR test which is more accurate and which some countries require. A PCR can take 2-3 days; however, more labs are doing it in 3 hours… for a price.
Where can I get a test just before departure?
A few major US airports have set up test centers. Private company, XpresSpa, branched out from manicures to Covid tests. XpresSpa costs $$$ for its quick PCR test, results given immediately. If schedule permits, you will find tests cheaper close to home. JFK Terminal 1 now houses Adams Medical which offers the PCR test in 3 hours. More places are opening to speed up the PCR. It is all about trip planning.
Can double vaccinated North Americans travel test free?
Yes to an increasing number of countries. Mexico mentioned already. A few examples in Europe are Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France (coming). The list keeps growing; Netherlands opened a day ago, for both vaccinated and unvaccinated US travelers. Note: separately some museums have regulations, for instance The Louvre in Paris requires proof of vaccination.
Are all vaccinations accepted in Europe and elsewhere?
It changes by country. In the EU, only medicines accepted by the EU qualify: Moderna, Pfizer, Astra Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Your second shot has to be 14-22+ days old.
How do I prove vaccinations?
Bring your CDC card. In some states there is an electronic version; NY has the Excelsior Pass. Expect more electronic versions in the future. You can buy the Yellow World Health Organization card and ask your health provider to add your information. Yellow WHO cards are available here.
What about temperature taking?
There is still some in airports and indoor venues. Temperature taking has become futuristic. A reporter in Sierra Leon had temperature taken in an airport. A thermal scanner measured the whole crowd at once.
Where do I get up to date information?
Your tour operator should have it. Your next stop is the State Department. Third the Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health in your destination.
What about travel insurance?
Yes and Yes and Yes. Bring hard copy proof of your policy.
Will insurance pay for routine testing?
A good question, sorry probably no. It depends on your health and your situation (ie if you were exposed to a virus).
Please remember that much of the above advice should be double checked with appropriate authorities and updated promptly. If you have questions, and we all do, contact Phyllis, at firstname.lastname@example.org We stay up to date on a daily basis.