How Rapid and PCR COVID-19 Tests Can Help Travelers

It has been a year since COVID-19 hit the world. There were several lockdowns and people were struggling with the sudden halt in the economy and their overall life. Now, public life is normalizing but with new norms and strict health protocols to follow. Now, the travel industry can get out of the rough seas it has been sailing on.

The restrictions on traveling were at their strictest during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. No country was allowing people to enter and the impact on the economy is devastating. Recently, some countries are reopening but not without travel restrictions. Travelers are also required to acquire and present medical certificates stating that they got negative COVID-19 test results.

Several testing methods have been introduced in this time span to help bring the traveling community back on its wheels. The 15 min Rapid COVID-19 test is one of them and it can be very effective among many other types of tests. We will discuss those and why testing can help speed up the reopening of the travel industry.

Why You Need to Get Tested

Several countries are opening their doors for international travelers to enter and this is really good news for everyone. The rules and policies vary per country. One common requirement is that a traveler needs to have a COVID-19 negative certificate from a test performed prior to entering the country.

As a responsible traveler, you need to ensure your safety as well as the safety of the people in the country you are planning to visit. The following are good reasons why it is a must to test yourself before traveling:

– You need to be sure that you are not carrying the virus that may infect the people you encounter on the plane and at your destination.

– You wouldn’t want to get isolated and treated in an unfamiliar place.

– A medical certificate will help you get your visa and all other necessary traveling documents easier.

– You won’t get to enjoy your trip if you suddenly experience symptoms while out of the country!

Different COVID-19 Testing Methods

Every country is following a set of approved rules to protect its citizens. This is a part of the national policy to keep their people safe. This is why countries are requiring tourists to get tested first before traveling. Checking the virus can be done in several ways. Two of the most common methods being used are PCR tests and Rapid tests. Both are very useful methods to check for the presence of COVID-19 among travelers.

COVID-19 PCR Testing

PCR or Polymerase Chain Reaction is a popular testing method. This test needs 72 hours to generate a positive or negative result. There are some community hospitals that are providing this test for free to needy people but, if you are traveling, you need to pay for it.

If you are opting for a COVID-19 PCR test for airline travel, it is better if you perform it 48 to 72 hours prior to your travel date, to be sure that your results are out and that a medical certificate can be provided for you. This test is fairly accurate with less than 2% false positives and negatives. This method is ideal for planned trips.

Rapid COVID-19 Testing

Rapid antigen testing is a process that generates results a lot quicker than PCR tests. The accuracy, however, is slightly less reliable. There are instances when the kit would produce a false result. If you need to travel ASAP and you won’t have time to spare for a PCR test, you may get a 15 min Rapid COVID-19 test to get instant results.

Which Test is Better for You

If you are planning to travel in the near future, and the “new normal” is already being implemented around the world, expect to be tested before entering any country. Determining which test is more suitable for you can help keep you safe.

Doing PCR testing can give you an almost accurate result and many countries are particularly allowing only PCR test results. But it will take a lot of your time and you might miss some opportunities for it, so plan ahead.

Testing with the 15 min Rapid COVID-19 test will yield results in a very short time, giving you more time to enjoy your trip. But keep in mind that there is a small possibility for a false result.


Following travel rules and restrictions is necessary before entering any country. But those shouldn’t hold you back. So, select a method that is suitable for you and go for it!

Olivia Watson

Olivia is a world traveler who has been to 27 countries in just over 15 years. She loves to share her knowledge of traveling to help others travel safer, cheaper and have more fun.
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