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Enough time for COVID results

Hi all, based on another question/thread, I booked our appointments for COVID tests for returning to the U.S. at 2:15 p.m. the day we fly out around 5 p.m. (4:50). That should be enough time to get results, right? I watched a YouTube video with folks earlier on who didn't get their results after 24 hours and had to retest, yikes! But that was quite a few months ago. What do folks think?

Posted by
4560 posts

Am I reading your post right? You are taking the test just 2 hours and 35 minutes before your flight departs? If so, I don’t see how you can possibly have the results in time to check into your flight.

Edit: I am seeing that Keflavik offers a rapid antigen test; I still think this could be cutting it close.

Posted by
783 posts

This would be really cutting it close. Your would be better off getting the test 24-48 hrs before you leave so in case of a delay you would still be able to get the test and have no trouble boarding your plane home.

My wife and I are going to Spain in September and we will get our tests 48 hrs in advance so we don't have to worry on the return flight.

Posted by
224 posts

Please don't leave your test for a couple of hours before your flight leaves. Any number of things could go wrong. Why not test the day before?

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks all, their website says results in 15 minutes so if so, I think we'll be ok. From their website:
I understand that my COVID-19 antigen test result will be available in 15-30 minutes. If the result is positive, it will need to be confirmed with a COVID-19 PCR test.

Posted by
19215 posts

How long will that PCR test take if you need it? Is it available at the same location? I have a hard time imagining you could get two tests in time to get on that plane.

Posted by
3013 posts

The YouTube Video that I saw (The Awkward Tourists - Stuck in Iceland) was posted three days ago. The husband in the pair didn’t receive his test results in time to make the flight and they had to change their flight plan. I would get your test as early as you can to make sure your results are back in time.

Posted by
1331 posts

I’d be worried that my appointment for 2:15 would be delayed by those doing testing on those ahead of me.

Posted by
32 posts

We did our rapid antigen tests in Reykjavik for return to the US two days ago (Saturday 8/7) and had our results back via email in 30 minutes, despite being in a (very fast-moving) line of 50+ people at the testing center.

Posted by
4947 posts

Our rapid antigen tests were done as a group on our Ring Road Tour and we had them the afternoon before our 10:05 flight the next morning. The results came in our emails in two hours, but we heard some people at the airport complaining on their phones about not receiving the results yet.

NO WAY would I wait so late.

You have to get to the airport early, at least 2.5 hours early and our line to the checkin counter took half that time. Security took another half hour. Our plane was in final boarding when we arrived at the gate.

AND we had our test result ready when we got there.

Also, we were on the ATT network and our phones didn't work in Iceland unless we had wifi. We had wifi at the hotel.

Posted by
31 posts

Returning from Cairo in June: the results took 24 - 30 hrs between swabbing & having results in hand to show airport staff. If your test results are not available at time of departure: do you have backup plan (e.g., is there airport testing)? I know of at least two couples who were forced to stay overnight at airport hotel & rebook flights b/c test results were not available at flight time.

Posted by
444 posts

I asked the testing site at my local airport (Anchorage), when should I get tested for a flight leaving on a Monday. Was told even for a rapid test to come in on Saturday, "just in case". I wouldn't do one with about 2.5 hours between test and flight.

Posted by
10 posts

We just returned from Iceland. The line to get to the Delta ticket desk and to show your negative covid results took 1.25 hours. Then we had 30 minutes to go through TSA, then we had to get to gate where they began to board 45 minutes before departure time. I recommend getting to the airport 3 hours before departure. There is a Covid testing site in Keflavik, just 10 minutes from airport. We booked a time 2 days before, had to wait about 30 minutes to get the test because so many Americans were just showing up without appointments and were worked into the schedule. The test results were sent to our phone after 15 minutes. However, if your phone wasn't working (there was no wifi at the lab), the nice people at reception printed out the results. Many tours were having their clients stop off at the testing site as part of their tour itinerary.

Posted by
385 posts

We just got back last night. We did the eMed tests and I highly recommend that! We had no wait at all, and had to sign in 5 times since there were 5 of us. The entire thing takes about 25 minutes as you first answer some questions, then the proctor walks you through each step and then you wait 15 minutes for the results and then the proctor goes over that with you. It is super easy! We did it two days before we left and did it at our convenience.

I also agree with allowing plenty of time at the airport. Yesterday they did not announce our gate until 18 minutes before boarding, so we had to scramble to get there. Many people missed their flights as right after the passport area the machines that read your boarding pass were not working on most passes (ours did thankfully!), so it was an absolute mess for hundreds of people trying to get to their gates. Then at the gate everyone was pushing and shoving, before boarding even began (that was delayed).

Posted by
232 posts

Yesterday we did the rapid antigen through Oryggis near the Keflavik airport. We got there about ten minutes before our appointment time and were on the road ten minutes later. They tested people in groups of six, and there were five other people there. They promise the results within 15 to 25 minutes, and we got our results in 16 minutes, while we were in line to check in with IcelandAir.