The holidays are typically the busiest time of the year for travel. Even with the threat of COVID-19, many people are still planning to visit family or take a holiday trip this year. If that includes you, you’ll need to add a new item to your pre-travel checklist: a coronavirus test.

Getting a COVID-19 test is a responsible way to travel during these times, and in some cases, required. Getting tested before a trip could help you avoid spreading the virus. According to a spokesperson from the Centers for Disease Control, “Pre-travel testing would reduce the risk of allowing COVID-19 infected people on airplanes and other forms of public transportation, provided that the results of the testing are known and acted upon before travel begins.”

Having a negative test result gives you peace of mind while traveling and reduces the risk you will infect others, including those you plan to visit, with the coronavirus.

Where to Get Tested

From hospitals to pharmacies, the number of places to get tested has exploded over the past few months. However, most of these locations require you to be symptomatic to get a COVID test, ruling it out for most would-be travelers.

If you’re planning a trip, Any Lab Test Now is a great option for COVID testing. You don’t need to have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with the virus to get tested.

Any Lab Test Now offers COVID-19 RT-PRC testing. A technician collects fluid from a nasal or throat swab or saliva.

Timing Your Test

Before a trip, you need to time your test properly. Plan it too early, and you have more time to get the virus before your trip and nullify your test result. If you plan your test too close to your departure date and get tested somewhere other than Any Lab Test Now, you run the risk of your test results being delayed. And possibly, being denied entry to a destination.

Getting a test at the end or after a trip can help you avoid spreading the virus at home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that travelers who believe they may have been at risk while traveling consider getting a coronavirus test when they return from a trip. A post-arrival test may also be recommended by your state’s coronavirus task force.

Even if you have a negative COVID test prior to travel, experts advise you to remember coronavirus-protection basics: wearing a mask in public; avoiding crowds; keeping physical distance from others; washing and sanitizing hands frequently; and not touching one’s eyes, nose, and mouth.

Safe Travels

There may be limits on where you can travel. Even though the U.S. State Department lifted a nearly five-month travel advisory for Americans concerning international travel, many countries remain off-limits to tourists from the United States. Countries that do allow visitors from the U.S. are requiring you to self-isolate for 14 days or possibly face financial penalties.

Here in the U.S., the rules and regulations on COVID-19 testing requirements continue to fluctuate, so it is important to check with the state you wish to visit for the latest updates.

In mid-October, Hawaii implemented a pre-travel testing program that allows people to come to the islands without quarantining for two weeks if they could produce a negative coronavirus test.

In Alaska, not only do you need to show proof of a negative coronavirus test pre-travel, you are required to purchase a $250 COVID-19 test upon arrival and self-quarantine at your own expense until you get the results.

While most U.S. states have no restrictions on travel, all their respective websites have important COVID-19 safety information, including possible face mask mandates in public settings.

Many health experts agree that as long as you take the necessary precautions, closer-to-home vacations in relatively uncrowded spots are fairly low-risk.

Trip Tips

If you do have travel plans coming up, try to take a trip that is direct and door-to-door if possible; avoid a lot of different means of transportation or transfers.

Traveling by car during COVID-19 will likely be the safest, so look for destinations within driving distance.

  • Travel during off-peak hours. This will help you avoid crowded rest stops.
  • Bring your own drinks and snacks to avoid standing in line.
  • Wear a mask if you must go indoors.
  • Keep antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer handy and bring it with you into public restrooms.

Get on a plane only if you need to visit family or if it’s an emergency. If you must fly, keep in mind that a nonstop flight is safer than one with layovers because of fewer chances of being exposed to the virus.

Also, the air on an airplane is quite clean due to industry standards and regulations requiring air circulation and HEPA filters. However, the time you spend in an airport during check-in, security checks, boarding, and baggage retrieval may well be riskier than the actual flight itself, so be sure to take precautions on every leg of your travel.

  • Bring a face shield or glasses along with a mask.
  • Bring antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer.
  • Wipe down your seat and tray table once you get to your seat.
  • Practice social distancing while boarding and disembarking the plane.

Cruise ships, shut down for much of the pandemic, are slowing starting to make a comeback. However, it should be stated that current scientific evidence suggests that cruise ships pose a greater risk of COVID-19 transmission because of the high population density aboard ships, which are typically more densely populated than cities or most other living situations.

In fact, the very first sailing of a cruise in Italy was cut short after eight passengers tested positive for COVID-19.

Be at Ease

Whether you plan to travel near or far, pre-travel testing is recommended for your health and safety —and the health and safety of others. Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work, including your pre-travel COVID-19 testing.

We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 185+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life. We want to put you at ease during the coronavirus outbreak. We are here to help.

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