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Cost/How quick was your Covid test to travel?


tbmrt
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21 minutes ago, tbmrt said:

Puzzled as to where to go to get expeditious, free??, Covid test before our cruise.  Input appreciated.  

 

Thanks.

Not that simple....


If you’re flying, the good news is that most major airports have multiple labs with quick turn around on results (usually just hours for . the most exacting PCR and analysis reqt.)

And, if you choose the right airline (e.g., United), your flight record will be tied to the test/vaccination/quarantine required for your destination. (United calls their site “Travel Ready) and the ability to set an appointment.

 

The bad news is that the airport labs are not usually open 24 hrs. which means that your flight time may mean you need to stay over at a hotel the night before flying to take the correct test. The other bad news: Not free or even cheap. I think it’s about $200/person and not necessarily covered by your health insurance.

 

And then there’s the reality that the destination-specific requirements may further limit the testing specifics to the actual allowed labs. Though not for a cruise, we’re currently on Kauai and “Hawaii Safe Travel” policy requires pre-flight testing to be done only at a lab on their list of approved labs. And they’ll only accept a specific test done within 72 hrs pre-final leg of flight to Hawaii. Add to this an extensive online process to apply for a QR code within 24 hrs of that flight. 
 

BTW, the Hawaii example does allow CVS and Walgreens testing. But, a call to CVS will get a disclaimer that they try to get results to you within 48 hours but there are no guarantees. Fortunately, folks fully vaccinated in the USA don’t need the test (so far). But they still need to jump through the hoops of the Safe Travels web application and QR code (which is also required for check-in at a hotel).

 

FWIW: when we checked in for our flight at SFO, the long line to get a blue ID bracelet had a fair number of folks who asked “what Safe Travels procedure?”. We even saw one couple “without a clue” at the boarding gate turned away and directed to the on-site lab (a useless exercise if they were unable to immediately change flights). 

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There are few "free" tests out there. Insurance may cover your test, making it "free", or they may not, as travel is not essential. I would look more closely at the many threads discussing testing that have been posted, and balance between guarantee of results vs cost.

 

A couple of cruise lines are testing at the pier.

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We had our tests done at a CVS Minute Clinic. Both antigen and PCR tests were available. (And both were accepted by our cruise line). We chose to go with the rapid antigen test and we had our results back in under an hour.

 

I have no idea what the cost was. It was covered by my insurance (same with DS).

 

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Sept 1 we did PCR tests at CVS, got results in 36 hrs, and presented the print outs for check in on Sept 4 for a Mardi Gras cruise.  CVS submitted any billing to our insurance company.  This was when the testing window was 3 days prior.

 

Now that it is down to 2 days, we'll probably do the Rapid Test at CVS for our next cruise in Nov., provided there isn't a drastic change in protocol by then.

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7 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

There are few "free" tests out there. Insurance may cover your test, making it "free", or they may not, as travel is not essential. I would look more closely at the many threads discussing testing that have been posted, and balance between guarantee of results vs cost.

 

A couple of cruise lines are testing at the pier.

But, as I expect you already know (due to your following Oceania developments), the embarkation test may get you on the ship but a 3-4 day pre-embarkation test (required or recommended) is what may determine cruise line coverage of any land/quarantine/medevac costs should you contract Covid while on the cruise. 

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21 minutes ago, craftygrandma said:

Also check with your local urgent care facilities.  We found the one near us does tests and let us schedule two weeks out.

 

Hi,🙂 that is what I did as well. I had so many issues trying to find a CVS or Walgreens that offer an Antigen Rapid Test......and when I did find one, the timing didn't work either.  When I found this Urgent Care Facility and was able to make an appt without any issues? Feels so much better👍. And yes, they accept insurance too.

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On 9/21/2021 at 1:06 PM, tbmrt said:

Puzzled as to where to go to get expeditious, free??, Covid test before our cruise.  Input appreciated.  

 

Thanks.

We (The wife and I) did the antigen rapid result test 2 days (Sept 9) at 12:45 p.m. before our MG sailing on Sept 11. When we arrived the only person we spoke to was the lady (behind the glass shield) who greeted us and she asked to see our  proof of identification and our insurance cards which we furnished. After she took pictures of each set with her phone my wife ask her, 'Just out of curiosity, how much does this test cost ?' She laughed, saying, I really haven't a clue, that's the billing department's job.' So, I guess we'll find out when we get a bill from CVS for the total amount sans insurance  payment or the total  amount. We left CVS about 1:05 p.m. and shortly after 2 p.m. the tech from CVS called with the news that we both were negative. We piled into the car and started driving towards Port Canaveral, relieved that we (hopefully) were on the way back to cruising. IF, anybody had a situation at a CVS where a price was quoted, I'd be interested what was mentioned.

 

Mac

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Scheduled our PCR test with Kaiser August 31, 3 days, before our Sept. 3rd sailing on the Ovation.

Kaiser did not guarantee results to come back in 3 days, so.....

We also scheduled a PCR test with CVS that same morning of August 31st.

A bit stressful waiting for the results.  Fortunately, we got both test results in less than 3 days...at least before we boarded.

 

Our health insurance paid for both...so no out of pocket cost for us.

 

Protocols have recently changed that requires us to have the results 2 days, instead of 3, before the sailing...RCCL policy.

 

For our next cruise, we scheduled Kaiser again but this time 2 days before sailing...again no guarantee to get results on time. CVS has the antigen/rapid test, unfortunately not in our area.

We found Covid Clinic, www.covidclinic.org, that will do antigen/rapid testing, and results will come back in hours.  Our cost will be reimbursed by our health insurance.  If you don't have health insurance, the cost is $129/test.  Happy and Safe sailing to all!

 

 

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We used Walgreen's at the beginning of September.  Tested Tuesday mid-day and got the results Wednesday noon.  Another test Wednesday morning with results Thursday afternoon.  Testing with a weekend or holiday in the mix will lengthen this time frame.  No cost to us, registered online 48 hours before testing,

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8 minutes ago, SbbquilterUT said:

We used Walgreen's at the beginning of September.  Tested Tuesday mid-day and got the results Wednesday noon.  Another test Wednesday morning with results Thursday afternoon.  Testing with a weekend or holiday in the mix will lengthen this time frame.  No cost to us, registered online 48 hours before testing,

This was a PCR test? You were able to get results in less than 24 hours?

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5 hours ago, Lois R said:

This was a PCR test? You were able to get results in less than 24 hours?

Yes to the PCR - the Tuesday test was just less than 24, Wednesday a bit longer.  When we were tested they said allow 48-72 hours.  With no weekend in our timing the results were very quick.

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5 hours ago, Lois R said:

This was a PCR test? You were able to get results in less than 24 hours?

A number of places can do PCR tests in under 12 hours...including the one we use, Worksite Labs. They don't operate in Florida, as far as I know.

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10 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

A number of places can do PCR tests in under 12 hours...including the one we use, Worksite Labs. They don't operate in Florida, as far as I know.

Hi Bruce,🙂 I found an Urgent care place and was able to make an appt for a Rapid Test with them. I am just always on the look out.....and whenever I see a PCR and the results coming back so quickly? It makes me want to look at it too.

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On 9/21/2021 at 1:06 PM, tbmrt said:

Puzzled as to where to go to get expeditious, free??, Covid test before our cruise.  Input appreciated.  

 

Thanks.

 

Not free, but I had a good experience with the proctored at-home test.  I bought a two-pack from Optum ($70 including shipping) and received them the next day.  I performed the test via video call with eMed; the whole thing took under half an hour, including the confirmation of my negative results.

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So we just go test results this morning (for a trip we take tomorrow).  We are flying to Barbados where we are spending a few days at Sandals prior to a Seabourn cruise.  Barbados has very strict requirements part of which require a professionally administered standard PCR test within 3 days of the trip.  Our flight is on a Wednesday morning (and it is the only flight of the day between NYC and Barbados) so we could have been tested as early as Sunday.  But several testing places here are closed on Sunday and the open places either use  self-administration of the test swab (not acceptable to Barbados) or will not "guarantee" results in under 48 hours.  So we had to drive 1:30 min (each way) to a medical lab near Philadelphia that guarantees PCR test results in under 24 hours (it took them 16 hours) at a cost of $100 per test (no insurance accepted).  The price was right but a real pain.  

 

None of the home tests (even the Binax test that is done with online supervision) is acceptable to Barbados.  The swab must be done by a healthcare provider and processed by a Barbados approved lab.  

 

I post this to warn folks that the devil is truly in the details.  Different governments and cruise lines have different and often changing requirements.  One needs to plan ahead, check (almost on a daily basis) for changes in policy, and follow the rules as written!  Anything less might leave you sitting at the airport or on the pier.

 

Hank

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I got my test late yesterday afternoon.....everything came back negative😃👍. I fly to Lisbon tomorrow....well, I fly to Newark first and then fly to Lisbon. I got an Antigen Rapid Test😃. went to a local Urgent Care Facility and I will use them again!!!

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5 minutes ago, Lois R said:

I got my test late yesterday afternoon.....everything came back negative😃👍. I fly to Lisbon tomorrow....well, I fly to Newark first and then fly to Lisbon. I got an Antigen Rapid Test😃. went to a local Urgent Care Facility and I will use them again!!!

Read the post before yours. 
FWIW to those following this thread- make sure you fully understand the requirements of the countries you plan to visit. Many are very strict -not only about which test when but, also, who does the test and who analyzes it.

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2 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Read the post before yours. 
FWIW to those following this thread- make sure you fully understand the requirements of the countries you plan to visit. Many are very strict -not only about which test when but, also, who does the test and who analyzes it.

Thanks for the reminder. Mine is approved. Portugal does not have those stringent rules.  Just the choice of the PCR or the Rapid Antigen with the timeframe..72 hours or 48 hours.

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On their website, Celebrity is selling an at home test which is monitored and information provided to the cruise line.

It is sold in 2 and 3 tests per package.  $70 and $100 respectively.  

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7 minutes ago, arcadiaangel said:

How difficult/uncomfortable is the home testing?  I purchased a 2 test pack for 2 of us to use - not sure if I should buy another pack.  Also can you get Sunday appointments?

 

My experience is that it was not difficult and only a little uncomfortable (this test unsettles me... not their fault and nothing anyone can do about it).  I'm not sure if you can order or find an appropriate single test kit anywhere, and an extra two-pack may or may not be overkill.  

 

So far eMed has been open 24/7 for proctoring.  So yes, you can test on a Sunday if you like.  The wait could be nothing, or it could be an hour or more, or it could be anywhere in between.

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