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Problems getting a COVID test to return to US

We just had an unbelievably stressful day. It’s a National holiday but we were told we could get a COVID test a nearby pharmacy. We tested negative but the pharmacist, who was totally clueless, kept insisting we needed a PLF number in order to get a QR code to show the negative result. I gave her our PLF number but the Greek government did away with the PLF as of March 15 but it seems the pharmacist did not know this. In the end we left with no proof of a negative result.

Luckily I brought Binax proctored tests which we did back in the hotel room. I know American, Delta and United all accept this but I am not sure about Lufthansa. I’m praying they will accept this as we fly out tomorrow at 7 am. If anyone knows the answer, please respond. This has truly been a day from hell and I am exhausted!

Posted by
5106 posts

What a hard experience. I am so glad you brought the Binax tests. These are approved by CDC so I am expecting they will be accepted by your airline.

Posted by
1279 posts

Yes, Lufthansa will accept the Binax proctored tests. From their website:

When entering Germany, Austria, Canada and the USA, you also have the
option of using test kits with a video-accompanied and verified
self-test, which are available to you as an alternative to our trusted
partner laboratories. You can use the tests conveniently at home or in
your hotel and you will receive the test certificate by email
afterwards.

https://www.lufthansa.com/ir/en/corona-tests

Posted by
893 posts

This page might be useful:
https://www.lufthansa.com/ir/en/corona-tests

When entering Germany, Austria, Canada and the USA, you also have the option of using test kits with a video-accompanied and verified self-test, which are available to you as an alternative to our trusted partner laboratories. You can use the tests conveniently at home or in your hotel and you will receive the test certificate by email afterwards. Information about all entry requirements for your destination country and test centre locations can be found on our entry website by entering your departure and destination airports. Verified self-test providers are marked "verified self-test".*

Posted by
107 posts

Thank you so much for this information! I would STRONGLY suggest that anyone reading this bring these proctored home tests to travel. Had I not had them, we might not be able to fly tomorrow. There were four other people at the pharmacy who also needed a test. They went to try another pharmacy but I am not hopeful that they were able to get a QR code.

Posted by
810 posts

We are flying to Greece in May. I contacted the hotel we are staying at in Athens, and they gave me the name of a pharmacy nearby where we can get tested on a Saturday.

Does a person always need a QR code to show the negative result?

Do you think you had problems because the PLF was recently eliminated? I hope we won't have problems in May, but will make a note to bring these tests with us.

Last August we were in France. We got tested at a lab; they printed out the negative results for us, and that is all we had to show. We didn't have a QR code.

Posted by
125 posts

Just looked at the Delta Airlines site. They have 2 packs from Optum instead of the 6. However, if you are challenged with the test, essentially you are screwed. Glad to have some backups from emed.

Posted by
107 posts

I don’t know if you specifically need a QR code to show a negative test result but that is what we got when we did the proctored at home test.

As for the problems with the pharmacist insisting that we needed a PLF number (which we provided) and then not being able to tract us in their system, I’m not sure what the problem was. My guess is that the pharmacist was hugely incompetent—even with a kind bystander translating everything—and there may not have been communication with the Greek government and the local pharmacies. I would think that by April, things will have gotten straightened out but personally, I will never travel overseas without backup at-home proctored tests. They saved us in this case.

Posted by
5 posts

Just wondering what experience the OP had performing the Binax AG card proctored test (is that the one you took)? Traveling in may and was going to take a back up - was WiFi connection an issue? Did you upload the results to your airlines preflight page? Did you need a printed copy of the result ( if that’s even possible)? Did you have trouble getting a time slot with a telehealth representative?
Thanks!

Posted by
107 posts

I used the Binax Now COVID-19 Ag card home proctored test from Abbott. I purchased this online. I didn’t have any trouble with wifi.

You need to download the NAVICA App and use that to show the airlines your result. To be safe, I also asked the hotel to print out a copy for me. And, if I remember correctly, I think the results may have also been sent to my email address.

I would bring one or two extra tests in case something goes wrong. I always like to have a back up.

Posted by
107 posts

Also, I didn’t upload this to any airline page. Perhaps you can do this but I didn’t. Also, I don’t believe you need a time spot. There are representatives available 24-hours a day.

Posted by
10 posts

My hubby and I recently used the Binax proctored tests in Spain. As mentioned, be sure to download the NAVICA app to your phone at home before going overseas so it will be all set to go. Also plan to complete the test at a location with good Wi-Fi. The process went quite smoothly and quickly for us and the proctor came on line within a minute or two at the most. The results went to our phone and email. We also uploaded to the Delta website, although you wouldn’t have to as long as you have the results on your phone and or paper. We also took two extra test kits just to have in case of any issues.

Posted by
55 posts

Just got back from Greece. The proctored Binax tests worked great! May be a bit more expensive than one at a pharmacy, but for us the ease of use and being able to do it in our hotel room made it worthwhile. I would agree with some previous posters though that you want to make sure you have good, reliable wifi so that you do not get disconnected accidentally.