So, you’re going on a business trip and you want to know where you can get a reliable COVID-19 test? Good for you—responsible travel is safe travel! We took a look at a series of Department of Health-approved testing sites in major business cities across the US so you can find one that works for you.
When should I not travel?
Any time you feel that you might be experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, it’s best to stay home for the sake of public health. If you’ve been in close contact with someone who recently tested positive, health authorities advise that you take a test and self-isolate. Don’t forget to register in this situation so that authorities can carry out effective contact tracing of COVID-19 cases. Remember that you can still have COVID-19 even if you're asymptomatic, which is why it's it's so important for you to follow the guidelines set out by local authorities in these cases.Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- A sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of taste or smell
If you think you might be symptomatic, it’s better to change or cancel your business trip. Remember, we’re all in this together, and acting responsibly is the only way to bring an end to this pandemic.
What type of test should I get?
There are 3 main types of COVID-19 tests that you can take. However, they’re not all valid for international travel, and you should always discuss what test is right for you with a healthcare professional. Let’s take a look at what each one does:
Often referred to as the PCR test, this will most accurately determine whether you have COVID-19 or not at the present time. This is the test that most countries require you to take prior to departing at your airport of origin. You usually need to take it 48-72 hours prior to boarding your flight, and you’ll need to show the negative test results at the airport. This is a diagnostic exam that flags an active infection. It is taken by a nasal swab up the nose and to the back of the throat. The waiting time for a PCR test result can vary but is usually about one or two days. You can request a same-day PCR result in some health centers for travel.
Many countries are now starting to accept antigen tests as sufficient proof that you don’t currently have COVID-19. These tests can yield results in as little as 15 minutes, making them the most time-efficient option for business travelers on the go. But before you opt for this route, make sure that your destination accepts antigen tests, not just PCRs. These tests have been known to present false negatives, which is why they aren't accepted as the standard form of testing.
Antibody tests are not particularly accurate in detecting an active infection. It is mostly used so that people can ascertain whether they have had COVID-19, as it can take weeks after the infection for the antibodies to show up in a test. Conducted by a blood test, this is usually not an option for domestic or international travel as antibodies can show up in your blood for a while after the infection is over.No matter what route you take, just make sure that you’ve checked the travel restrictions and requirements at your destination. Different countries have implemented different health and safety measures, and arrivals from the US might require additional testing in certain places. Proof of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine might not be enough for you to gain entry to a certain country. You don't want to be turned away when you get there!
What if I don't have health insurance?
There are free testing facilities across the country for uninsured patients. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act makes sure that anyone can have access to this and additional testing. To find a community-based COVID-19 testing site, click
Where can I get a COVID-19 test in the US?
Look through our directory of COVID-19 testing centers with pre-booking per State. We looked at testing locations in the US’s main business travel hubs to help make our traveler’s experience smoother.