The first question we'll address, and the most common one is: Do I need a COVID-19 test to travel?
The answer (and the reason this guide is exists) is… It depends! A better, and perhaps more apt questions is: Should I get a covid test before and after traveling? And the answer, overwhelmingly, is YES. We’ll touch on that later, now, on to the most common questions we get about COVID-19 and travel.
1. What countries do I need a COVID-19 test to travel to?
We’ve got a chart containing all COVID-19 test requirements for popular travel desinations. Find the country you’re looking for below. Be sure to check the source link to make sure the data is still correct before making travel plans. This information changes on the drop of a dime, going straight to the source is ALWAYS recommended.
COVID-19 Travel Testing Country by Country Requirements.
|Country||COVID-19 Test Type Required||Link For More Info||Timeframe Required|
|Antigua and Barbuda||RT-PCR||Click Here||7 days before departure|
|Aruba||PCR||Click Here||72 hours before departure|
|Austria||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of arrival|
|Australia||PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of departure|
|the Bahamas||RT-PCR||Click Here||5 days before arrival|
|Bangladesh||RT-PCR||Click Here||72 hours before departure|
|Barbados||RT-PCR||Click Here||3 days prior to arrival|
|Belarus||PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of arrival|
|Bermuda||RT-PCR||Click Here||5 days before arrival|
|Brazil||RT-PCR||Click Here||72 hours prior to boarding|
|Bulgaria||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of arrival|
|Cambodia||RT-PCR||Click Here||72 hours from arrival|
|Colombia||PCR||Click Here||96 hours prior to departure|
|Costa Rica||None||Click Here||N/A|
|Croatia||RT-PCR||Click Here||48 hours before arrival|
|Curaçao||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of departure|
|Denmark||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 48 hour prior to travel|
|Dominica||RT-PCR||Click Here||24-72 hours before arrival|
|Dominican Republic||None||Click Here||N/A|
|Dubai||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 96 prior to departure|
|Ecuador||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 3 days of arrival|
|Egypt||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 96 hours|
|El Salvador||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of arrival|
|Ethiopia||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 120 hours of arrival|
|Ghana||RT-PCR||Click Here||72 hours before departure|
|Greece||RT-PCR||Click Here||72 hours before arrival|
|Grenada||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 3 days of departure|
|Haiti||PCR||Click Here||72 hours before boarding|
|Honduras||RT-PCR||Click Here||72 hours before arrival|
|Hong Kong||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of departure|
|Hungary||RT-PCR||Click Here||Complex - see below|
|India||RT-PCR||Click Here||72 hours before departure|
|Indonesia||RT-PCR||Click Here||72 hours before departure|
|Ireland||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of arrival in Ireland|
|Italy||RT-PCR, Antigen||Click Here|
|Jamaica||RT-PCR||Click Here||72 hours before departure|
|Japan||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of departure|
|Jordan||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of arrival|
|Kenya||RT-PCR||Click Here||96 hours prior to travel|
|The Maldives||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of arrival|
|Montenegro||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of (departure or arrival?)|
|Morocco||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of departure|
|Namibia||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 7 days of (departure or arrival?)|
|The Netherlands||RT-PCR||Click Here||24 hours prior to departure|
|Avianca||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of arrival|
|North Macedonia||N/A||Click Here||N/A|
|Panama||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 48 hours of travel|
|Pakistan||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of departure|
|Qatar||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 48 hours of departure|
|Russia||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 3 days of arrival|
|Rwanda||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of departure|
|Serbia||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 48 hours of arrival|
|Seychelles||PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of departure|
|Singapore||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of departure|
|Sri Lanka||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of departure|
|St. Barts||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of arrival|
|St. Lucia||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 5 days of arrival|
|St. Maarten||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 120 hours of departure|
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 5 days of arrival|
|South Korea||PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of departure|
|Thailand||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of departure|
|Turkey||PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of departure|
|Turks and Caicos||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 5 days of arrival|
|Ukraine||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of arrival|
|United Kingdom||PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of arrival|
|Zambia||RT-PCR||Click Here||Within 72 hours of arrival|
2. Do I need a COVID-19 test to get back into the United States?
So, you finally took your trip! Now there’s the part where you have to fly back – the United States currently requires a negative RT-PCR, PCR, or Antigen test dated within 72 hours of your arrival.
3. Are rapid tests reliable?
It depends on the test – rapid antigen testing (the type of testing you’ll find in most instant home-test kits) is far less reliable than PCR testing, but recently new tests and equipment have been developed to provide what are called RT-PCR tests. These tests mix the reliability and accuracy of a PCR test with a turnaround time much closer to these widely available at-home tests. Best yet, most countries accept RT-PCR results for travel. (Want to book a test? Visit link and follow instructions)
4. What types of COVID-19 tests are out there?
Well - what is your goal for taking a test? Do you want the most confidence in your results? Do you need a test to travel in the first place? Do you have a few symptoms or are feeling off and need to be confident in not canceling your plans?
PCR tests are the most accurate.
however many providers offer longer turnaround times. We’re proud to offer next-day results on PCR testing though, so if you’re in Pittsburgh – we’re here for you!
Antigen and Lateral Flow Tests are the fastest.
If you have symptoms the morning of an event, even if they’re minor, a cheap and quick antigen test like BINAX can provide some additional peace of mind. However, this is all they provide. They are known to be significantly less accurate than the PCR equivalent and may leave you with more doubts than answers.
RT-PCR Tests hit the sweet spot in the middle.
They aren’t always the best for every situation though - they are more costly and may not readily available based on your location.
5. So – what test is right for you? Here’s how to make your decision
- Do you need a result now and cost isn’t a concern? Get an RT-PCR Test from a qualified lab. (Book your test with SDxLabs here)
- Do you need a result now*, aren't concerned with high reliability, and don’t have $300 or more to spend? Get an antigen at-home test kit from anywhere that sells them.
*Note that at-home kits are not accepted by any country for travel. This is for your personal knowledge and the safety of yourself and those around you.
- Do you have time to plan and know when you need to have a negative result? Get a Travel PCR test from a lab.
Learn more about travel testing options.
6. What should you do if you test positive?
Stay home, quarantine based on the current CDC recommendations (they vary based on vaccination status and time-since infection – learn more here), do not travel and apread the virus.