Please sign in to post.

Testing at a clinic or buying a test for the hotel room

My trip to Spain is the 2nd week of March. I arrive and leave from Madrid. I bought my tickets from American Airlines if this matters.

I understand that there is such a thing as buying a proctored home test: you have a remote session with somebody over the internet. Somebody watches you do the test.

Isn't it too good to be true that the testing requirement could be completed in my hotel room? Supposed the proctoring it doesn't work? How can I put up with such uncertainty? Isn't it too good to be true that there really are enough employees to handle the proctoring?

[Now that we know enough about the virus, we have vaccines, and so on, the restrictions and rules should all be cancelled and whoever is afraid of catching and/or spreading the virus will have to manage their fear the same way you manage the terror of impending death that has existed since you were about 6 years old.]

Suppose the internet doesn't work, the tests are defective, or some other problem I am not thinking of happens? Wouldn't I be screwed because at that time it would be less than 24 hours until my plane is supposed to leave??

How am I supposed to print the results?

Would I be safest buying a proctored test in advance or figuring out how to schedule a test at a clinic?

Posted by
2256 posts

We have done this and it worked just fine. We bought the test kit from eMed and took them to Iceland with us in August. There were 5 of us and we just did the tests in the morning before we checked out of our hotel room. We did bring a few extra kits just in case. With my kit, the dropper bottle was empty, so they just had me use the leftover from my husbands kit instead of opening a new one. These are acceptable for returning to the US. You do not need to print the results as they are immediately emailed to you, plus you can take a screen shot of that. That is all we needed to do was show the photo when we were checking in at the airport and we were good to go. We are taking them again with us in a couple weeks.

Posted by
2207 posts

Mike, I've used the Abbott BinaxNow proctored kit multiple times - when traveling from and to the USA. In addition, I traveled with two parties of six in Italy and France in the past few weeks and ALL OF THEM (Americans) used this kit or equivalent. Some purchased and carried 2 kits - a couple were in Europe longer and bought the 6-pack for $150. These were all proctored kits and using their laptops they all used the internet, connected, and were "approved" after testing negative.

One did have her internet drop, but because they scan the barcode on your kit, she was able to reconnect via her barcode. You do the test - they give you instructions - then you are on hold for 15 minutes while the test results "work." A different proctor will catch up with you after the 15-minute window is over (you're sitting there watching a promotional video while the clock ticks down)... and then they walk you through the approval process.

Your results are emailed to you - usually in less than 5 minutes - and also sent to their APP on your phone. You can upload the test to VeriFly, KLM ready-to-fly, and other verification Apps. A very smooth process and I am ALWAYS traveling with a BinaXNow (or similar) kit after almost getting stuck in the USA. You have to be careful not to "stockpile" as they do have expiration dates. Hope that helps!

Posted by
2744 posts

You might also consider getting tested at the Madrid Airport. You can reserve a time in advance. We got our tests 3 1/2 hours before our flight and the results were emailed to us less than 15 minutes later. Cost was 25 euros. It was great.

Posted by
5144 posts

The approved proctored antigen tests have been successfully used by literally hundreds of thousands of people since they were offered for use, so yes, they are a good alternative to finding a testing facility in your departure city. Glitches can happen, which is why you should always bring more than one. You can find quite a few you tube videos by actual users that walk you through the process. However, if your phobias and fears now include proctored tests, then just get tested at a local testing site. Assuming you can find one with an opening if the pandemic is surging in that area. The departure airport can usually be relied on for last minute testing.

Posted by
30 posts

For what it’s worth, we were just in Madrid and it was easy to get tested at a clinic - there’s one right by the Prada, no appointment needed, no wait, results within six hours. I think it was 30 euros.

Posted by
2768 posts

Honestly I worry much less about the proctored self tests. No need to worry about opening and closing hours, lines, how to get results, language, take time out of your sightseeing, anything. Do it in your pajamas at 3AM if you want and go on with your life. Results are within 15 minutes so on the off chance there’s an issue you can go to a backup plan. I would bring 2 tests, just in case, and do it as early in the allowable window as possible. For return to the US that’s ONE DAY, which is not the same as 24 hours. Other countries vary. For return to the US If your flight leaves at 1 on a Friday you can do the test anytime on Thursday, no need to wait until 1. So in this example, I’d do it upon waking Thursday morning. Since I worry and have contingency plans for my contingency plans, I could then go to a pharmacy that day if somehow both my Binax tests failed. Which seems near impossible.

Posted by
2207 posts

As Mira suggests, the folks I travel with ALWAYS bring at least two kits because you can get - if you do it wrong - an invalid result. Then, you have to test again! So do have two kits per person - just in case.

As mentioned, every country seems to have different entry requirements. Coming from the USA, The NL has one of the narrowest timeframes out there (24 hours from the time your flight takes off for the NL). That window gets even narrower when you have an extended layover if you're connecting as we did in DFW - we departed hours earlier from ATL. The BinaxNow Tests - or similar proctored kits - will provide you with far more flexibility. As mentioned earlier, CVS canceled our scheduled test 23 hours before our departure flight and we were left hanging, with NO VIABLE TEST OPTIONS at 7 PM at night, with check-in at 10 AM on our first flight the next morning. I'm glad we had the kits for "insurance" - and they're great if an Antigen test is permitted.

Posted by
548 posts

We used them for our trip in September. We used one for our trip going over with no problem. Purchased two more to take with us and test before leaving Amboise for our return trip. Got quick connection for beginning the test. When they put the info in for our test kit they told us it had been recalled.

Luckily we were in a small town and the owners of our B&B pointed us in the right direction to get tested at a lab.

With that being said, we still plan on using the at home test for our trip in April - if we can find them!

Posted by
996 posts

Thanks for your imput. I will search for proctor test kits that I can order. A pack of 6 test kits for $150 seems excessive but if that is the best deal available, I guess that's what I will order.

Spain doesn't require a test to arrive. They just need a form filled out and submitted 48 hours in advance and evidence you are vaccinated; the card you get from the pharmacy with the logo of the center for disease control is supposed to be good enough. The USA requires the test on the way back; the airport employees, the first ones who will ask for my passport and tickets, are probably the people who have to be convinced that I meet the USA's entry requirements before they will signal that I can finish going through security screenings (body scanner, luggage scanner, questioning, other searches, and so on).