PCR Test near me for travling | Covid Testing Near Me
PCR Test near me for travling | Covid Testing Near Me- If you’re planning an upcoming trip to one of the countries where Americans can travel, you’ll probably need to meet some kind of COVID testing requirement. Yet, with all the new testing options and the Delta variant, it’s not always clear which COVID test you need to travel abroad.
It can be confusing, but this guide will tell you where to get a COVID-19 test for travel in the USA, as well as the different types of tests. You’ll also learn about newer testing options like mail-in kits and at-home COVID tests that are approved for travel.
PCR Test Near Me for Travling
I’ll tell you now that if you prefer testing on your own, you’ll want a mail-in test, like these approved kits from Amazon ($39.99) or an at-home test that’s approved for travel, such as the one from Ellume ($50). You’ll receive your results quickly without having to risk exposure at a clinic or drive-thru testing site.
Of course, depending on your timeline, destination, and vaccination status, you may need to get the test another way, so let’s dive into all the possible options!
Before we start, it’s worth noting that free coronavirus tests typically apply to testing for medical purposes. If you’re getting a test solely for traveling, your insurance may not cover it, but this is something you must look into on a case-by-case basis.
WHICH COVID TEST DO YOU NEED FOR TRAVEL ABROAD?
If you’re looking for a pre-trip Covid test, you’ll see these two tests quite often: the PCR test and the antigen test. Currently, the FDA recommends the molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which is the gold standard of accepted COVID-19 tests for travel, and the most accurate and widely available.
Recently, antigen tests have become more widely available, although they still tend to be more expensive than the standard PCR tests. If you’re confused about the antigen test vs PCR, you’re not alone!
In a nutshell, the PCR detects active coronavirus infection while the antigen test only checks for specific viral proteins. Moreover, the PCR test is the official COVID test for travel and the most common NAAT test. Most states and countries open for tourism are requiring the PCR test for entry. Of course, you should check your specific destination to see all the entry requirements, especially with the current Delta variant situation.
For example, according to the CDC, if you’re re-entering the US, you must have proof of a negative COVID-19 NAAT or antigen test taken within 3 days of departure. Alternatively, you can provide evidence of recovery from COVID-19 within the last 90 days. Acceptable NAAT tests include PCR, RT-PCR, LAMP, and TMA, among others.
Again, the testing requirements depend on where you’re going (antigen tests aren’t accepted for entry into Canada, for example).
BUY TRAVEL INSURANCE BEFORE GETTING YOUR PRE-TRIP COVID TEST!
Given the severity of the pandemic and the current situation with the Delta variant, it’s a good idea to have insurance coverage for travel. Many tourists paid large out-of-pocket expenses during lockdown back when COVID first hit. Now, over a year into the pandemic, many countries require visitors to have some kind of travel insurance.
However, the main reason why we recommend enrolling in coverage before getting a pre-trip COVID test is that in case the test comes back positive and you need to cancel your travel plans, you will get refunded for the trip expenses.
We have Heymondo and highly recommend it since, in addition to covering COVID treatment and quarantine, if you test positive for COVID before your trip, you’ll receive reimbursement for the cancellation and related travel expenses.
How Test For Travel Works
Chances are the country you’re about to visit will request a negative Covid-19 test before letting you enter.
Here you can find reliable Covid-19 testing locations near you in three easy steps.
Search Entry Requirements
Research what types of tests are accepted by your target country, and how long they take. Need extra help? Check out our Global Travel Requirements.
Find Testing Locations
Visit our directory and search for your city and the type of test you need. Every listing contains the facility’s contact information.
Book An Appointment
Reach out to your facility of choice. Confirm whether they’re available to test, and book your appointment.
WHERE TO GET AN IN-PERSON COVID TEST FOR TRAVEL NEAR YOU
Most likely, you’re going to need a PCR test for travel before you embark on your trip. Depending on where you live in the US, you may have many testing locations near you or just a few.
This section will help you find a PCR COVID-19 test near you based on the most common nationwide and local centers.
COVID-19 TEST FOR TRAVEL – NATIONWIDE (UNITED STATES)
Currently, there are a handful of major companies and labs offering in-person PCR COVID travel tests. Here is an overview of the most widely available options where American travelers can get a Covid-19 test for travel.
1. CVS PCR TESTING FOR TRAVEL
CVS has over 4,800 testing locations across the United States offering molecular PCR/NAAT tests and rapid-result tests. While CVS MinuteClinics accept all major insurance, if you want to get a quick COVID test for travel, it’s considered a non-essential test, so you’ll have to select the self-pay option. The total cost is $139, and you can get a fit-to-fly travel certificate with your test at no added cost.
The CVS PCR test produces results in 1-2 days and is the most accurate test available. You can go here and enter your zip code to find a MinuteClinic near you. You’ll have to answer some pre-screening questions to see if you’re eligible for a test, and appointments are required.
2. PASSPORT HEALTH
Passport Health is a nationwide travel medicine and immunization provider, and it’s offering pre-travel testing for Americans at most of its clinics.
Passport Health has locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington D.C. You can check for clinic locations that provide PCR tests for travel here.
Keep in mind that Passport Health focuses on individuals who need to get a coronavirus test before traveling for work or school and, due to increased demand, appointments are limited, so you should schedule your test as soon as possible.
3. WALGREENS PCR TESTS FOR TRAVEL
Walgreens offers COVID-19 testing for American travelers, in partnership with the PWNHealth network and LabCorp. On their website, they note that these tests are available at no cost to eligible individuals who meet the CDC criteria. To see if you’re eligible, you have to complete a quick screening survey and, if you’re eligible, you’ll be able to make your appointment.
Three tests are available: the PCR test, the rapid antigen test (BinaxNOW), and the rapid diagnostic test (ID NOW). The Walgreens PCR test cost is generally $0, but in some locations, your insurance could be billed by LabCorp, so check this with your Walgreens location before your test. Many American travelers have gotten the ID NOW or PCR test for travel at Walgreens for entry to Hawaii and other international destinations like Aruba.
ID Now results take less than 24 hours, while PCR results arrive in 1-2 days. You can check here to find additional information and a location near you.
*Note: Walgreens doesn’t provide an official fit-to-fly certificate, but an email with the result of the test. This is valid for traveling to Hawaii and other locations, but it might not be valid for all international destinations.
QuestDiagnostics is another nationwide lab that offers COVID tests for travel. The lab does active infection swab tests, antibody blood tests, and COVID-19 + flu tests.
You’ll have to talk to your doctor to see if you’re eligible for the PCR test. If you are, you can choose between an in-person test or an at-home testing kit.
The in-person test costs $119, and you can take it at any of the 2,200 QuestLab locations across the country (you can find a list here). The in-person tests aren’t available in Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, or Oklahoma. The at-home nasal swab kit costs $129, and Quest Labs will FedEx the kit to you, along with a prepaid overnight label. A $9.30 physician fee applies to both tests.
In-person test results take 1-2 days upon arriving at the lab, while at-home swab tests take 3-5 days. Currently, QuestDiagnostics doesn’t provide travel clearance certificates.
5. RITE AID
Rite Aid pharmacies throughout the US have partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide rapid PCR and antigen tests.
If you’re looking for a PCR test for travel near you and you live near a Rite Aid, this could be a good option. You can get a same-day appointment at a Rite Aid drive-thru pharmacy, and mail-in kits and at-home tests are also available. In-person drive-thru results arrive in 2-5 days via email. Those who do the mail-in test will receive a free overnight return shipping label and get their results within 2 days of their sample arriving at the lab.
Through its partnership with HHS, the drive-thru and mail-in COVID tests are free with or without insurance. However, Rite Aid’s testing does not meet Hawaii travel requirements. You can find more info and pharmacy locations here.
6. DMCOVID-19 TEST
DMCovid-19 Test, LLC is now partnering with doctors’ offices throughout the country to provide PCR testing for travel. House call service by a local physician is available in the contiguous US, although result turnaround times vary. DMCovid-19 Test has 9 clinic locations offering curbside testing in Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and Washington DC.
The RT-PCR tests are CLIA-certified and cost $219 for next-day results and $299-$349 for same-day results. You can find more information and specific locations here.
7. URGENT CARE CENTERS
There are urgent care centers across the United States offering COVID-19 testing for American travelers. Some provide fit-to-fly certificates, while others do not. You can look up ‘urgent care’ in your city and check out the clinic’s website for more details about PCR tests for travel.
Keep in mind that most urgent care centers and hospitals are preoccupied with helping people with COVID-19 symptoms, so this is one of the last options we recommend. There are more convenient ways of getting a coronavirus test for travel purposes, such as the companies above.
BEST NATIONWIDE LABS TO GET A QUICK IN-PERSON PCR COVID-19 TEST FOR TRAVEL
Below, you can see which pharmacies and labs offer pre-flight COVID-19 tests and fit-to-fly certificates.
|PRICE||RESULTS TURNAROUND TIME||WALK-IN/DRIVE-THRU||OFFICIAL TRAVEL CERTIFICATE|
|Passport Health||$200||3 days||Both||Yes|
|Rite Aid||$0*||2-5 days||Drive-thru||No|
|DMCovid-19 Test||$219||1-24 hours||Drive-thru||No|
|WHERE TO GET A COVID-19 TEST FOR TRAVEL IN THE UNITED STATES|
* Only for eligible individuals (for medical purposes)
The list of labs offering COVID-19 testing for travel in the US is growing every day, so we’ll keep updating this list as new centers start testing for traveling purposes.
BEST PLACES TO GET A MAIL-IN COVID-19 TEST FOR TRAVEL IN THE US
If you live far from one of the main labs that offer COVID tests for American travelers, or you don’t want to risk possible exposure to the virus by visiting a lab, consider a mail-in test.
More and more companies are offering mail-in COVID tests for traveling purposes, although they don’t all have the same authorization. For instance, some tests are part of Hawaii’s trusted testing partner program, while others are not. It’s a good idea to check if your airline has a testing partner, but in the meantime, here are some possible options:
- Amazon has an FDA-authorized mail-in COVID-19 test for travel, which you can buy here for $39.99. Upon receiving your RT-PCR test kit, register it online at AmazonDX.com. After taking your sample, send it back to Amazon’s CAP-accredited lab using the included pre-paid next-day shipping label. The lab will send you the results and documentation within 24 hours of receiving your specimen. This at-home PCR test is valid for domestic travel within the US (except Hawaii) and many international destinations.
- The DxTerity Covid-19 Test Collection Kit is CLIA-certified and FDA-authorized for emergency use. This $99 test yields results in 24-72 hours. Once you receive the kit, register it online, collect a swab sample, and send it to DxTerity’s lab for physician authorization. Your kit, which you can buy here, comes with a pre-paid shipping label. Most major insurance providers offer reimbursement for the test.
- EmpowerDX is another option and costs $99 here. The RT-PCR test has FDA emergency use authorization and is airline-approved. After collecting your swab sample, you must send it to the company’s CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited lab using the free overnight return shipping label. You’ll get your lab report and results within 48 hours of your sample arriving at the lab.
- The COVID Consultants have an in-home COVID test for traveling. It costs $199, and clients can expect results within 24 hours of the specimen returning to the lab. Depending on where you live, the clinic can overnight a kit to you, complete with a prepaid FedEx overnight shipping label. The testing kits are FDA-approved and accepted by major travel authorities in the U.S., Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
- Pixel by LabCorp mails in at-home COVID testing for travel, and the results come within 3 days. Those who are taking it for non-essential travel will have to pay the out-of-pocket cost of $119. It’s partnered with LabCorp and is also FDA-authorized. Eligibility requires a pre-screening survey.
- EverlyWell offers a mail-in testing kit for $109, with digital results in 24-48 hours. The lab is open Monday-Friday and will receive your kit in about 5 days. Itemized receipts for insurance reimbursement are available, although the kit isn’t available in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, or Rhode Island.
- Vault Health provides at-home COVID tests for travel for $119. You’ll have to perform the self-test during a Zoom call with a health professional before sending it back to the lab. Results take 24-48 hours.
- Azova offers several mail-in COVID tests for travelers. Each option requires video observation via Zoom and produces results within 72 hours. The RT-PCR test kit is FDA-approved for international and domestic travel from the US (including Hawaii) and costs $115. Azova also sells the Lucira LAMP test ($89), which recently got FDA authorization for entry into the US and Hawaii.
- OnSite Safe has rapid PCR tests for travel with results in 48 hours or less upon arriving at the lab. The kits start at $128.
- LetsGetChecked has a pre-flight Covid-19 test for $89. It’s a TMA analysis (an accepted NAAT test) that produces results within 24-72 of arriving at the lab. Along with your results, you’ll receive a fit-to-fly certificate and an official lab report.
HOME COVID TESTS ACCEPTED FOR TRAVEL
Some countries are also accepting at-home COVID tests. For example, the United States is now allowing at-home COVID-19 tests with remote supervision. For the test to be valid, it must meet these criteria:
- The test must be a viral antigen or NAAT test (PCR, LAMP, TMA, etc.)
- Tests must have FDA emergency use authorization (EUA)
- The test must involve video observation by an approved health practitioner or proctor. The practitioner must file a report for the patient, including the name of the lab or clinic, the type of test, and the specimen collection date.
This at-home testing option is very convenient for Americans traveling abroad since they’ll need to get tested before re-entering the US. With these at-home tests, they can simply pack the kit with them in their luggage and get self-tested before their flight back to the States.
If you intend to use these at-home COVID tests to travel abroad, first confirm that your destination also accepts them.
ELLUME BY AZOVA
Ellume was one of the first companies to offer at-home Covid testing, and it even partnered with Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines. It’s approved for domestic and international travel if you pay for the kit and video observation ($50) here. Simply download the Ellume app, take the test with video supervision, and get your results in 15 minutes.
BINAXNOW COVID-19 AG CARD HOME TEST
Abbott’s BinaxNOW at-home COVID test is CDC-approved for entry into the USA. The kit comes with 2 tests, which Abbott recommends using to test yourself twice, with at least 36 hours between swabs. You’ll have to take the test with video observation through the NAVICA app, and you’ll get your results in 15 minutes. You can buy a 6-pack for $150 here.
BEST US AIRPORTS TO GET A COVID TEST BEFORE YOUR TRIP
More and more US airports are doing pre-flight Covid-19 tests. However, each airport has specific policies, and turnaround times can cause delays in your trip. Even so, this could be a viable option if you’re arriving at the airport a day or two before your flight.
Moreover, XpresCheck has partnered with several major US airports to offer walk-up PCR tests and appointments. Rapid NAAT tests ($200) and RT-PCR tests ($250) have a turnaround time of about 1 hour. Standard PCR tests have a turnaround time of 2-4 days and cost $75. Insurance is only accepted for lab fees.