Covid Testing for Travel

What are my Coronavirus Travel Restrictions and Requirements?

covid travel

Due to our speed of test results, ease of scheduling, options for both PCR and Antigen testing, and the convenience of being tested at your home or office, we provide a great deal of pre-travel Covid testing in Austin.

Below, you will find many details on travel requirements with Covid as well as resources for finding out what your destination requires in terms of Covid testing and/or quarantine upon arrival.

But before you scroll down there's one important overarching thing to keep in mind when it comes to Coronavirus travel restrictions: Many destinations require a PCR Covid test rather than a rapid antigen Covid test but have short timeframes before your departure in which you must have the test performed. However, many Covid testing options in Austin that perform PCR testing are not able to provide you results in that short of a timeframe before your flight departs. It is extremely important that you know the details of timeframe in which your test must occur, the test type your destination requires, and confirm that your testing location can get you your results in plenty of time.

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Check to see if your destination has certain travel and/or Covid testing requirements or restrictions.

Many states and countries have different rules for travelers, such as mask requirements or mandatory quarantines when you arrive. Many of our clients have found this website useful in determining the current requirements of destinations both within the US and internationally.

However, we also recommend you check your airline's website since most have a page that indicates the current Covid testing and/or quarantine requirements for any destination where they fly. Here are a couple examples: United Airlines, Delta

We have had many people book their Covid tests prior to traveling to meet their destination’s Covid testing requirements. It is interesting how varied those requirements can be! It is important to find out what your destination requires regarding the type of Covid test and the timeframe to get tested before your trip. Not only can that timeframe differ from one destination to the next, but some base it on the time of departure and others on the time of arrival at the destination.

So, if you have a long international flight and your destination requires a PCR test to be completed within 72 hours of arrival, it can be very difficult to get tested and receive your results from the lab in time before leaving. However, if the destination allows the rapid antigen test, we can complete that and provide you with your result report in a matter of hours. We have plenty of clients who get tested the day before or the day of their flight when their destination doesn't require a PCR test and will allow a Rapid Antigen Test.

So in summary, if you are getting Covid testing prior to traveling, call us at 512-400-4033 so we can help to determine exactly when you need to get tested to meet the requirements of your destination.

Tips to Minimize Covid Risk For Different Types of Travel

covid testing for travel

Any traveling will likely increase your chances of exposure to Covid-19. Regardless of how you are traveling, here are some things you can do to protect yourself and others:

  • Do not travel if you are sick
  • Always wear a mask
  • Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Bring gloves to minimize contact with shared surfaces (doors, gas pumps, railings, etc.)
  • Try to maintain a distance of at least 6’ whenever possible

Covid and Traveling by Air

Airports are busy, crowded places, especially around the holidays, making it almost impossible to social distance at all times. There are also many shared surfaces where Covid-19 could easily be spread, such as in security lines or in bathrooms. According to the CDC, viruses do not spread easily on planes due to the way air is filtered and circulated. Still, sitting close to other people for long periods of time greatly increases your risk of infection. Staying masked and washing your hands frequently can really help avoid Covid exposure while you travel.

Covid and Traveling by Bus or Train

Traveling on buses and trains will confine you to a small space with many people for extended periods of time. It will be very difficult to social distance when going through lines and there may not be enough space to seat passengers away from each other, which greatly increases your risk of infection. 

Covid and Traveling by Car

Traveling by car is one of the safer options, especially if you are traveling alone or with people who live in your household. However, there are many shared surfaces at gas stations and rest stops that can spread Covid-19, so be especially careful of these exposure opportunities while traveling.

Want more information on coronavirus numbers where you're traveling?

Covid test for travel