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If you are looking for a COVID-19 test for travel, you may be wondering where to get one, what type of test, how long the appointment and the result will take, and how much it will cost.
Types of Tests
There are many different types of tests available, PCR, RT-PCR, antibody, take-home. The vast number of options available can be difficult to navigate, and not all tests are accepted for international travel. Typically, you will need a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. PCR tests are the gold standard for COVID-19 testing and are the most accurate.
Usually, the tests that are not accepted are antibody tests as they detect the presence of COVID-19 antibodies, but not active infection. While they have a fast turnaround and test for active infection, they are less accurate than PCR tests and will not be valid for certain travel destinations.
Some destinations require a negative PCR test that is collected within a certain time frame, usually within 72 hours before flight departure. Additionally, you must consider that test results delivered over the phone likely won’t be suitable for travel testing, so electronic or hard copy is recommended. SDI Labs provides patients with electronic results that can be accessed via their mobile device.