What COVID-19 Tests Are Needed To Get To Canada And The United States – National – .

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What COVID-19 Tests Are Needed To Get To Canada And The United States – National – .


In an effort to stem the spread of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, Canada, the United States and many other countries have rushed to enforce new testing requirements at their borders – leaving Canadians and many other travelers internationals scramble to figure out or rethink their vacation travel plans.

President Joe Biden announced sweeping changes to the U.S. COVID-19 testing policy for international travelers on Thursday, requiring anyone traveling within the country to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within one day of departure.

Earlier this week, the Canadian government also introduced a handful of new restrictions and changes to its travel policy, including the introduction of a new arrival test for all non-U.S. Travelers. While awaiting the results of their tests, travelers are expected. isolate.

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Here’s everything you need to know about the COVID-19 tests you need before you travel to the United States or return to Canada.

Molecular, antigenic or antibody tests?

Many travelers say they still don’t know what tests they must undergo to enter either country amid the flurry of new restrictions.

Currently, there are two different types of COVID-19 tests – diagnostic, otherwise known as viral, and antibodies.

Diagnostic tests are used to show whether a person, at the time of the test, has an infection with COVID-19. Samples for these tests are usually taken either with a nasal or throat swab, or by using saliva coughed up into a tube.

The two most common COVID-19 tests in this category are molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and rapid antigen tests.

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With a PCR test, a swab is typically used to collect material from your airways deep into your nasal passage. The sample is then sent to a lab, where a technician interprets the results.

PCR test results can be readily available within 24 hours, but can sometimes take a few days, also varying with the time it takes for samples to reach laboratories.

The rapid antigen test, on the other hand, is generally more readily available and is the cheaper option of the two. Samples for the test can be taken from the nose or throat, and a test result can be ready in 15 to 20 minutes.

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Both tests could also be self-administered under the supervision of a telehealth professional, although travelers should be wary of the exact types and brands of tests approved by the country they are seeking to travel to – and if this country even allows travelers to test themselves.








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On the other hand, antibody tests specifically look for antibodies in your immune system that have been produced in response to the contraction of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Samples for these tests are usually taken with blood drawn by a finger prick or by a healthcare professional.

These tests are generally not recommended for diagnosing active COVID-19 infections, as antibodies can take days or weeks to develop after infection, and are generally not used to determine if a person is allowed to travel. to enter the borders of another country.

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What tests do you need to enter Canada?

The federal government on Tuesday released several new travel requirements and restrictions, including the need for travelers to take a test upon arrival in Canada.

All travelers entering Canada will be required to have a PCR test, after which they will be required to self-isolate until they test negative, regardless of their vaccination status.

Canada still requires anyone entering the country to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed within 72 hours of departure.

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Prices for PCR tests can run up to several hundred dollars depending on where the traveler is from, and its availability and accessibility vary by country.

In-person PCR testing in Canada can generally be booked quickly in Canada at many health clinics, hospitals, drugstores, and drugstores, including Rexall and Shoppers Drug Mart. Stores like Costco also sell approved COVID-19 tests for travel, which can be self-administered under supervision.

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Travelers will not have to pay extra for their PCR tests on arrival, with the federal government promising to cover the full cost.

Previously, fully vaccinated travelers were only subjected to random molecular PCR tests, while all unvaccinated travelers were required to undergo a quarantine and mandatory testing upon arrival, according to the Association of Travel Agencies of Canada (ACTA ).


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Canadians will need a day of COVID-19 testing before they fly to the United States: Biden


Canadians will need a day of COVID-19 testing before they fly to the United States: Biden

A complete list of approved tests is available online from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Currently, rapid antigen tests are not accepted as a pre-entry test to enter the country, although a handful of other tests can be used, including nucleic acid tests or RT-LAMP tests.

What tests are needed to travel to the United States?

In an effort to stem the spread of the Omicron variant, the United States adopted a handful of new measures on Thursday – including requiring all travelers to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within one day of departure.

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The order, which goes into effect Dec. 6, extends to all travelers two years of age and older and includes fully immunized U.S. and Canadian citizens.

The new restrictions do not, however, limit the types of tests travelers could use – allowing the use of molecular PCR tests, rapid antigen tests and several others.

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has a comprehensive online list of accepted COVID-19 test types, and includes NAAT, RT-LAMP, and NEAR tests.

A self-administered PCR or antigen test could also be valid for travel to the United States if the brand is approved by the FDA and is supervised in real time by an approved telehealth provider.

Experts and advocates were quick to note that the US test requirement makes the use of the rapid antigen test cheaper and easier to obtain.

The price of self-administered antigen tests can vary, although some online retailers sell them in Canada for as little as $ 10. Pharmacies like Shoppers Drug Mart can also administer antigen tests by appointment and promise results within 15 to 20 minutes.


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How Omicron Could Anchor Your Vacation Travel Plans

Travelers arriving to the United States who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection in the past 90 days may also be exempt from the testing requirement if they provide a previous positive test result and a letter from their health care provider or public health official. declaring them authorized to travel.

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Richard Vanderlubbe, director of ACTA and founder of Tripcentral.ca, told Global News in a previous interview that the new travel restrictions in the United States could “have been much worse.”

“The antigen tests are inexpensive and easy to get, you get the results in 15 minutes, so the day before you leave for the United States,” he said.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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