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Covid Testing: Using An On Demand Kit

We returned from a 3 week trip to Italy, Czech Rep and England on August 10th and I thought I would offer some advice to any traveler who hasn't yet decided whether to self test for Covid using a kit or going somewhere to get tested. To make a long story short, on the recommendation of The Points Guy, we paid $150 for a 6 pack of kits from eMed.com (the kit is mfg by Abbott) before we left for Europe. The first supervised online test went off reasonably well. We had to wait about 15 minutes for the person monitoring the test to come online and it took about another 15 minutes to take the test. We got the negative results back the same day. The next test using the eMed kit was 3 days prior to returning to the U.S. We spent 5 hours online holding ("someone will be with you shortly") before we gave up and booked a test the following day at a testing site in London. The cost for each of us was 149 Pounds and we got the results back the following day. But we lost a half day of sightseeing the previous day holding for eMed and we were pissed. So we now have four unused kits and when I contacted Emed upon our return, they were only willing to refund any amount on the condition that I return all 6 kits to them. At that point I decided to let it go. Anyway, I don't recommend using a kit. There are plenty of places to get tested in cities (without going to the airport). Buon viaggio!

Posted by
361 posts

We just returned from Iceland this week. We took the eMed kits with us and they worked great. We had 5 people, so had to log on 5 different times. Each time we had no wait at all for proctors. We had a tiny glitch in that the dropper in my kit was empty but we just used the leftover from my husband’s kit. We did bring 3 extra kits just in case but did not need them.

Posted by
62 posts

I am pleased (jealous) that you had a better experience. We logged on at the same time on two different devices with the same results. Nothwithstanding, we had an awesome trip.

Posted by
18897 posts

There were reports of protracted delays with the self-test kits earlier. It sounds like Bradley got caught during that period when demand for testing shot up and the company didn't get its staffing adjusted fast enough. More-recent reports have been more encouraging.

I'm curious, Bradley, about what sort of test you got in England that cost £149. Was it a PCR test? I've read (I think on this forum) that testing is fairly costly in the UK, but I would have expected an antigen test to cost a lot less than £149.

Posted by
64 posts

I would clarify a bit about that kit. I am learning from the forums that there are a few different kit providers. The eMed kit has an on demand scheduling process, where you have to essentially get in line when you are ready to take the test.

We used the Ellume kits (different company). You download a couple apps on your phone and pre-schedule your appointment. You might have a few minute wait connecting through the apps on your phone at your scheduled time. We did this in Portugal and found it to be a good experience and are going to do this for our next couple upcoming trips. Might I suggest updating the title to Using an On Demand Kit? I think On Demand versus Pre-scheduled is a different experience. Thank you for sharing your experience!

Posted by
6515 posts

I'm curious, Bradley, about what sort of test you got in England that cost £149. Was it a PCR test? I've read (I think on this forum) that testing is fairly costly in the UK, but I would have expected an antigen test to cost a lot less than £149.

This price doesn’t surprise me, sadly. I paid €112 for a fast antigen test in Norway last week. People should be happy they can get them for only €29 in France !

Posted by
3 posts

Wondering if these kits work for entry back into the US. It sounds like we need a PCR test to get back but this is a rapid antigen test. Thank you for any clarification you can give… I am so confused but also want these to work!

Posted by
18897 posts

The US has, so far, accepted antigen tests for return to the country.

Posted by
3 posts

thank you acraven... reading more on the CDC site, it looks like you are correct. WHEW! Thank you.

Posted by
4 posts

I am trying to figure this Covid testing out too. We are going to the UK. So I think I understand the Day 2 testing for the UK. It looks like I can have a test sent to my day 2 hotel, and put it in a collection box. I'm trying to figure out the test to return to the US. A lot of the UK test sites offer a "Fit to Fly" test - which is for UK travelers - but I wonder if this would work for return to US. US Website says Antigen test or NAAT -- so as long as this is one of those, it should work, right? Anyone done this recently and could offer advice?

I am having trouble figuring out the day 2 testing for arrival in London. We leave tomorrow night and I have the binaxnow tests but cannot figure out how to put the information into my passenger locator form- it keeps telling me to book and pay for a day 2 test before traveling but I cannot find if the binaxnow test is approved for use for the day 2 test. Help please!

Posted by
62 posts

Those Brits are very clever. Unless you sign up and pay in advance for an English company to perform the test - - you won't be able to complete the locator form. There are many companies to choose from on the locator application depending on where in England you want to make your appointment. And I don't think you can complete the locator form application more than a certain number of days in advance of your arrival in England (which is considered "Day 0"). Good luck

Posted by
2624 posts

You need to book and pay for a Day 2 test before you leave. You will be required to enter the booking reference number on you locator card.