Please sign in to post.

Rapid Molecular NAAT vs Rapid PCR test

Is the Rapid molecular NAAT acceptable for entry to Italy? We live in a small town which is making it very difficult to find and schedule something that meets the 72 hour entry requirement.

Flight leaves 8:00 from JFK, thinking of scheduling our test at JFK preceding our flight…

Input appreciated.

Posted by
24 posts

Hi Suzettedalton3:

My family and I flew out of jfk through Iceland air to France early august. There’s a few aspects to consider:
1) Is NAAT acceptable? On quick perusal of the Italian website, it just says rapid antigen test, so NAAT should be good. But read the website through very carefully because it might specify what type of antigen test in another section somewhere.

2) Getting tested at jfk: I investigated this for us and found the testing hours 8am -11pm or other various hours depending which terminal. You don’t specify if you leave 8pm or 8 am but I imagine it would be 8pm and you could do this.

You have to allow extra extra time for testing in case it takes a little longer or if lines are long or to get back to the terminal you actually leave from. The testing in different terminals is run by different clinics so you have to explore each of those websites to get the details of how to do it.

This route can get expensive $200+ per test.

3) In our situation, we had weeks before, booked tests for the day before our flight at a CVS in western Massachusetts but they texted that morning saying the tests were suddenly canceled with no explanation! After deciding the JFK options were too expensive for 6 of us plus we didn’t want to leave it that late, we scrambled around to find a free walk up site in Brooklyn where we were spending that night. We did find one and the results took 30 minutes to come back but my husband’s test came back invalid so he had to repeat it which took double the amount of time.

4) There are kits from Abbott BinaxNow that you can order online ahead of time and they proctor you online doing self testing at your convenience and provide a certificate of the results by email and app. We used these for testing prior to returning to the US. They can come in packs of 6 for $150 as well as smaller numbers, so you could use them prior to your trip as well as before your return.

5) Here’s a great summary article on covid testing for travel by the Points Guy. He also has a YouTube of how easy it is to do the Abbott self testing:

Hope this helps get you started on your research. Good luck!