COVID-19 tests – What works where when you travel overseas

Which COVID-19 tests are required for international travel

So, are you going to travel abroad or migrate overseas? These days, you have to understand the procedures that you must follow with respect to COVID-19 prevention practices. It has become necessary for travelers to show proof of being COVID-19 negative to gain entry into most of the world countries.

You may be confused about what COVID-19 test should you go for. Now, that depends on the country you are traveling to. Let’s look at the test types required for major countries for migration or visits.


If you are going to the USA, you will need to carry results from either a COVID test that detects the COVID virus’s genetic material or a rapid test that seeks proteins that are viral, called antigens. The test has to be taken within 3 days of departing for the USA.

The common test procedure given by health professionals is applying a nasal swab, the results of which come in a day or more. For results that come in about 15 to 30 minutes, rapid tests are implemented. It’s in fact the more popular option used to screen people at offices, testing sites, nursing homes, and schools. Even self-examination using a swab is possible with rapid testing.

As per US immigration rules, you will have to need to produce a printed or electronic proof of the negative result from a medical laboratory. So, even if you decide to take up a rapid test, you will end up seeking a document with a health care provider.

The UK

The requirements with regard to COVID-19 tests in the UK are very similar to what the US asks for. Britain accepts the results of both types of COVID tests. But besides that, the UK authorities are asking for more in requirements. This includes the need to meet certain thresholds for the accuracy of results. If you are leaving for the UK, you will have to be sure that the tests you went through meet the standards the UK stipulates.

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Anshul Singhal

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