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Pre-departure Covid Testing for Return to US

For anyone who has done this recently, can you describe your experience in complying with the requirement for a negative test result within one day of departure per current guidelines?
We'll be staying the last several nights in London prior to a June departure. Would particularly like to know where you went for the test, the cost involved, and the turnaround time you experienced in order to have the documentation ready by check-in. TIA

Posted by
723 posts

My experience with this was in Madrid a month ago (a private clinic I found from a link sent by the airline. 35 euro. 20 minutes for a paper result after an antigen test.

I understand that the Abbot labs Binax proctored self-test is what most people are doing now.

Posted by
167 posts

I traveled to Italy in December, and we took the proctored BINAX now tests with us. You can order them from eMed, and they ship quickly. You don't want to order them too early because they do expire.

We took the test in our hotel room. It was easy, and the online tech walks you through it. They email you a result which is accepted by the US. You must download the Navica app to complete the test. I advise doing this before you leave home.

Beth

Posted by
11243 posts

I got mine at Boots pharmacy in London. (Boots is a large pharmacy chain similar to Walgreens which are owned by the same parent company.) You need to make an appointment online. Results normally take about 30 minutes. They are emailed to you. I think it was 30 GBP.

You need the in store rapid antigen testing.

https://www.boots.com/covid-19-testing

However, there are plenty of other places in London. Just ask at your hotel. They will know of some near you. And who knows what the rules will be in June. You may not need one.

Posted by
52 posts

A couple clarifications on the BinaxNOW kits. Abbott keeps pushing back the expiration dates. We still have a couple from the batch we bought in August. They're valid until at least April. Ones we bought in October are good until May. So if you buy a set today, they'll be valid for sure in June. It's possible to determine the true expiration date by hunting around online, but I've found the best way is just to call the company.

Also, you no longer need to install an app. As of at least last month you can do the test online in a web browser (Chrome, at a minimum).

It'd be really great if this forum had a sticky with a link to the Abbott kits at the top of every page. I've tested both ways, many times, and the kits are by far the best method. It's frustrating people are in the dark about a problem that was solved last summer.

Posted by
515 posts

Should we need to have a Covid test 48 hrs before Rick Steves tour…where could we get an antigen test in Bath which is our starting point?

I have looked for pharmacies that do covid testing and only 1 that I found that would be possible to book an in clinic antigen test, however, we arrive LHR 12:45…. It could be close to 4 - 4:30 pm before we even make it to Bath and this pharmacy does not offer tests after that hour and have no hours for weekend.

The other pharmacies for Covid seem to be tied into the NHS which does not help us .

Posted by
3993 posts

We took ours on 6 March at the ExpressTest center at Paddington Station. It was £50. Since it was slow, we took the test 45 minutes before our scheduled time. Results were received via email about 30 minutes later. After eating dinner in the area we returned and got a printout of the results. When we went to Heathrow T5 the next day, the line at the ExpressTest center was about 25 people long.

British Airways uses the VeriFLY app if you want to check in online, so we uploaded our results to it. If you don’t want to check in online, your documents will be manually checked at the counter. With fewer testing requirements, some testing centers, both Boots and ExpressTest, may close between now and the time of your trip. For example, the Paddington center used to test 1,000 a day, but now only tests a couple hundred.

ExpressTest has a number of testing centers around London including Paddington and Victoria Stations. The Paddington center is right by the Paddington bear statue.

Posted by
515 posts

Jamieelsabio…Paddington might help for our test before return to US…..I’m having a harder time trying to figure out testing in Bath since we arrive on a Friday mid-day.

I’m hoping testing gets phased out by our time of travel:(

Posted by
723 posts

Chris,

Can you use the BinaxNOW test for your pre-tour test?

Posted by
11243 posts

Chris.....are you staying in a hotel in Bath? If so, email the hotel and ask for suggestions of testing centers. They will know.

Posted by
515 posts

The Binax test has to be the one that is proctored over the Internet…we have not used the Binax test…we would have to practice with it first. We have only had 2 antigen test throughout these 2 + years…one to enter France ..which we got at a local pharmacy and one to return to US when leaving Paris ….again at pharmacy.

Pharmacies and testing centers were everywhere in Paris. Jaimeel made a good point that tests seem to be winding down. If it were London I would not be so concerned…..Bath is much smaller.

Frank….I will email the B & B towards the end of April/May since test may not be needed. Our tour starts 6/19; we arrive UK 6/17.

Posted by
454 posts

Just booked ours for April in London, easy peasy. Our hotel in London gave us the name of a pharmacy located 5 minutes walk away. Fortunately they were open on Sunday afternoon since we fly home on a Monday. Hopped on their website and got our appointments.

Posted by
515 posts

Cchapin. Would you be so kind to share which pharmacy you used?

Posted by
454 posts

Zen Pharmacy. They have 3 listed online in different parts of London. Very easy to make an online appointment on their website.

Posted by
233 posts

I just had my test within the last couple hours through Collinson in their walk-in clinic at St Pancras. I actually arrived about 20 minutes early and they took my right in. Test procedure was about 5 minutes and had my results in 25 minutes.

https://stpancras.com/shop/collinson

https://www.collinsongroup.com/en/covid-19-testing/st-pancras-international?utm_source=st+pancras&utm_medium=partner+page&utm_campaign=st+pancras+international&utm_id=st+pancras&utm_source=st_pancras_international&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=partner

Posted by
2228 posts

VAP: which test did you get and what was the cost?

Posted by
233 posts

I took their antigen/lateral flow test, which cost £32.