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Self testing kits

Greetings everyone,

I put together a 24 day biking and hiking trip for 3 of my buddies and myself to Germany, Switzerland and Austria starting Sept. 1. Does anyone know if self testing kits are allowed in those countries? Also, any brand that you would recommend? I'm praying that we can pull this off and any advice to make this trip easier would be appreciated.

Thanks and all the best, Monte
**Edit- just to clarify, each one of us are fully vaccinated. We understand we may need testing done in addition to our proof of vaccination card.

Posted by
1483 posts

Is this self testing for the return to the US or for some other requirements?

If for returning home, then any that will satisfy the US govt should work. I just did the Abbott’s Binax test yesterday while here in Albania. One thing to keep in mind is to carry a spare test or two. My wife’s test was missing the adhesive to close the test and had to be discarded- thankfully I had carried a spare for each of us

Posted by
1770 posts

Get vaccinated right away, all of you.

I cannot speak for all parts of the three countries, because there are local differences regarding COVID prevention measures. If at all, self tests are accepted only, if there is proof of who had done the test, e.g. providing a video. The validity of such a test can be as low as 24 hours, so you will have a lot of hassles, as access to restaurants or hotels is restricted.

Posted by
754 posts

Antigen tests. And you will need some form of 3rd-party verification on the results in many cases. I am using Ellume tests for return as those are recommended by Delta, my carrier. Sign up for email notifications from the US embassy (assuming you are American) for each country for updates on requirements for US citizens. If you are not already vaxxed, then do so. However, you are so close that it may be a moot point.

Posted by
5257 posts

In Austria, only test results issued by a lab will be accepted. In some locations in Austria, testing can be done at home using an app while gargling to provide evidence for the lab. These tests, however, are not available to non-residents.

The truly self-tests (the ones that look like pregnancy tests) are not acceptable in Austria for admission to attractions, restaurants, etc.

My advice to make things easier - get vaccinated.

Posted by
1901 posts

Thank you everyone for your input! All of us are vaccinated so hopefully we can go to all of the countries.

Thanks again and all the best, Monte

Posted by
5257 posts

Being vaccinated will make things easier. If you are all vaccinated, however, why did you ask about self-testing kits? Are you just wanting to make sure you remain healthy during your trip?

Posted by
5257 posts

Arnold - you wrote

If for returning home, then any that will satisfy the US govt should
work. I just did the Abbott’s Binax test yesterday while here in
Albania.

This self-test will not be accepted by the airline when you travel back to the US. You really need to check the airline requirements. No one in the US checks your test upon arrival to the US. It is the responsibility of the airline bringing you into the US to ensure that you have either a PCR or antigen test with a negative result provided by an approved lab within the required timeframe.

Posted by
1176 posts

I am also going to these countries in fall.

For returning to the US, you need to take tests that are approved both by the FDA and your airline. Some check-in agents may not be familiar with take-home tests. I will fly Swiss and just emailed them if they would accept Abbott's take-home tests.

Get vaxxed ASAP. It won't be good till 14-days or 21 days (pls x3 check this "seasoning period" requirement) after the 2nd jab. ALL restaurants and hotels are supposed to check your PCR test results in the prior 72 hours or your vax records. For me, when I made bookings at smaller hotels or inns, the owners requested that I brought with me vax proof at check-in.

Posted by
1483 posts

The Abbotts BINAX test is the one that was recommended by United who I purchased my ticket from. The test was definitely accepted by Lufthansa who my return flight was on. This was yesterday at the Munich airport where I flew back to the US from.

Agree that once you are back in the US no one cares or checks for vaccination or the test or anything else. The checking was done in Munich and partly in Corfu where my return trip originated. The check-in agent in Corfu made things worse by insisting we need a US attestation form also which I didn't have and had no way of filling (PDF) on the spot. Luckily she accepted my reasoning that I could handle it in Munich during my overnight (12 hr) layover. Once in Munich, no one ever asked for this attestation.