Travel to the US and back.

202 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, Shenandoah said:

You can get a free Covid test (PCR or fast/schnelltest) at Walgreen's and CVS in the US.  You'll have to sign up through their website in order to make an appointment.  My wife and daughter recently traveled internationally (we're in the US) and needed a PCR test.  They signed up through the Walgreen's website, scheduled an appointment and had the PCR results the next day.  The results are emailed and available online under your account.  No health insurance is required.

 

S.


I wasn’t able to get a free test at Walgreens, CVS, or any other place back in April. Perhaps it has changed now, or perhaps there are different rules in different states.
 

Where I was, you could only get a free test with health insurance card or, if no insurance, then with actual COVID symptoms. Many places wouldn’t even test you at all without symptoms. I called more than 25 places and could not find any that would both test a symptom-free person and guarantee results within the needed time period (72 hours before arrival in Germany, so effectively a 48 hour turnaround). 
 

In the end my only choice was spending a ridiculous amount of money for a test at the airport. Good that things have changed because it was a bear of an ordeal. At least for my second trip I showed my vaccination card instead.

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MollyWolly,

 

We're in Virginia but I don't think that matters as CVS and Walgreen's are nationwide.  My wife and daughter got free PCR tests just last month (June) when they traveled internationally.  I'm not sure when they started offering free PCR and rapid antigen tests.  

 

S.

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22 hours ago, DoubleDTown said:

anyone flown to USA with an antigen schnelltest certificate (not PCR) ?

 

 

Yep. On United in early May. No problemo.

 

Here is excerpt from the certification that was accepted:

 

(GER)Folgender SARS-Covid-2-Antigen-Schnelltest wurde hierbei verwendet:
(ENG)The following SARS-Covid-2-Antigen-Rapidtest was used:
Koch Biotechnology - COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Strip (BfArM ID: AT487/21)
Sensivität / Sensitivity: 98,50 Spezifität / Specificity: 99,30
 

Quick, easy and cheap.

 

 

 

 

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On 15/07/2021, 11:49:34, DoubleDTown said:

Lieber Toytowners,

 

anyone fly to USA recently?   Is a result from an official "Schnelltest" really okay?   There are plenty of free, no appointment-required testing centers around me, I'd love to do that rather than a PCR test.   United Airline's site says “any negative Antigen or Molecular test”;  Lufthansa says "Accepted tests are: antigen, NAAT, RT-LAMP, RT-PCR or TMA."  

 

CDC says " Passengers must be tested with a viral test that could be either an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). Examples of available NAATs for SARS-CoV-2 include but are not restricted to reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP), transcription-mediated amplification (TMA), nicking enzyme amplification reaction (NEAR), and helicase-dependent amplification (HDA). The test used must be authorized for use by the relevant national authority for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in the country where the test is administered. "

 

Has anyone flown using an "official" antigen Schnelltest like that excerpted below?

 

 

Schnelltest certificate excerpt.jpg


I arrived in the US on July 2nd and I confirm that the antigen schnelltest which I obtained at a Berlin storefront testing center was accepted for air travel by the gate agents at BER and not checked again upon arriving in the US (where it seems like COVID is completely over as the majority of people are not wearing masks indoors any more.

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On 17/07/2021, 21:10:26, Brockman said:


I arrived in the US on July 2nd and I confirm that the antigen schnelltest which I obtained at a Berlin storefront testing center was accepted for air travel by the gate agents at BER and not checked again upon arriving in the US (where it seems like COVID is completely over as the majority of people are not wearing masks indoors any more.

Did you administer the test yourself or was it done by medical personnel?  I am flying out of Frankfurt on the 26th with my wife and three kids, as I am unfamiliar with Frankfurt does anyone have a suggestion as to where I can get the testing done.  I don't mind if it is not free and I have to pay for it.

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12 hours ago, crossman said:

Did you administer the test yourself or was it done by medical personnel?  I am flying out of Frankfurt on the 26th with my wife and three kids, as I am unfamiliar with Frankfurt does anyone have a suggestion as to where I can get the testing done.  I don't mind if it is not free and I have to pay for it.

I was told by Lufthansa that it cannot be a self-test. 

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You can order a self test from United for the flight from Europe to USA. But you have to be in USA for this. But then you do self test while in Europe and talk to doctor and then upload result. 
 

I can also attest, a quick schnell test in a city center was enough to board flight from FRA-ORD today July 21. I took one yesterday in Worms (was nose), which is free and got results by pdf in 15 minutes. Note - pdf was password protected so this cannot be uploaded to United’s website. It was denied at first (had to export as new pdf and reupload). Annoying but life. 


Also had a schnell test in Mainz that was antigen and spit into a cup. Wild, but got pdf in 15 min. This also would have worked for flight to USA. 
 

You can also book a test at Frankfurt airport. It’s on site or they have an option with car next to airport. This is another idea but is pricey in my opinion. Also, I didn’t like the website. Antigen can be 48 hours before so I would just book in a city center in Germany day before. My test result was in German but was accepted by United. 
 

If anyone has more qs, ping me. I travel a lot and always try to give up to date info. 

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22 hours ago, crossman said:

Did you administer the test yourself or was it done by medical personnel?  I am flying out of Frankfurt on the 26th with my wife and three kids, as I am unfamiliar with Frankfurt does anyone have a suggestion as to where I can get the testing done.  I don't mind if it is not free and I have to pay for it.

 

It was done by the people working at the storefront testing center in Berlin (they were dressed like medical personnel, although, not sure if they were - in any case I did not do it by myself), and it was free (since quick antigen tests are available for free to residents of Berlin).

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52 minutes ago, Brockman said:

 

It was done by the people working at the storefront testing center in Berlin (they were dressed like medical personnel, although, not sure if they were - in any case I did not do it by myself), and it was free (since quick antigen tests are available for free to residents of Berlin).

 

4 hours ago, Nkwal said:

You can order a self test from United for the flight from Europe to USA. But you have to be in USA for this. But then you do self test while in Europe and talk to doctor and then upload result. 
 

I can also attest, a quick schnell test in a city center was enough to board flight from FRA-ORD today July 21. I took one yesterday in Worms (was nose), which is free and got results by pdf in 15 minutes. Note - pdf was password protected so this cannot be uploaded to United’s website. It was denied at first (had to export as new pdf and reupload). Annoying but life. 


Also had a schnell test in Mainz that was antigen and spit into a cup. Wild, but got pdf in 15 min. This also would have worked for flight to USA. 
 

You can also book a test at Frankfurt airport. It’s on site or they have an option with car next to airport. This is another idea but is pricey in my opinion. Also, I didn’t like the website. Antigen can be 48 hours before so I would just book in a city center in Germany day before. My test result was in German but was accepted by United. 
 

If anyone has more qs, ping me. I travel a lot and always try to give up to date info. 

 

10 hours ago, Santitas said:

I was told by Lufthansa that it cannot be a self-test. 

Thanks for the info!

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Do you need to be tested even if you are fully vaccinated and have a US vaccination certificate?

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30 minutes ago, jeba said:

Do you need to be tested even if you are fully vaccinated and have a US vaccination certificate?

 

If you are flying from Germany to the USA, you need a negative PCR test within 72 hours of boarding the plane in Germany - you show it to the airline.

If you are flying from the USA to Germany, you do NOT need a negative PCR test if you are fully vaccinated (and can prove it, of course). If you are not fully vaccinated, you need a negative PCR (but I am not sure when or where you must get it).

 

Entry requirements to the US can be found here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html

And there is a long list of people who are allowed into the US at this time - basically, if you are not a US citizen, the spouse of a US citizen, have some sort of work or study visa or on a humanitarian mission (delivering stem cells or such), you're not allowed in.

However, I know a few people who traveled to the US for work who do not fall into this category...so it's a bit confusing.

 

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O

25 minutes ago, kitkat64 said:

 

If you are flying from Germany to the USA, you need a negative PCR test within 72 hours of boarding the plane in Germany - you show it to the airline.

If you are flying from the USA to Germany, you do NOT need a negative PCR test if you are fully vaccinated (and can prove it, of course). If you are not fully vaccinated, you need a negative PCR (but I am not sure when or where you must get it).

 

Entry requirements to the US can be found here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html

And there is a long list of people who are allowed into the US at this time - basically, if you are not a US citizen, the spouse of a US citizen, have some sort of work or study visa or on a humanitarian mission (delivering stem cells or such), you're not allowed in.

However, I know a few people who traveled to the US for work who do not fall into this category...so it's a bit confusing.

 

My daughter is holding a green card and was already fully vaccinated in the US  before she left the US to visit me. Now it seems Lufthansa requires her to have a test for her return flight. At least I cannot find an exemption for the  fully vaccinated on the Lufthansa website. I'm struggling to believe this.

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Seems I have to believe it though:

Quote

What if I have had a COVID-19 vaccine or have tested positive for antibodies? Do I still need a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19?

Yes, at this time all air passengers traveling to the US, regardless of vaccination or antibody status, are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery.

From kitkat's link

 

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That’s definitely true. My sister and husband were here for a visit last week and they’re fully vaccinated and still had to get tested before being let back into the US. They’re also citizens  not simply visa/green card holders.

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3 hours ago, kitkat64 said:

If you are flying from Germany to the USA, you need a negative PCR test within 72 hours of boarding the plane in Germany - you show it to the airline.

 

Close but no cigar.

 

A PCR test is not required.

 

Hate to spoil everybody's fun speculating and sharing rumors, experiences, recipes, etc.  but here is the straight poop:

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html

 

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19 minutes ago, Straightpoop said:

 

Close but no cigar.

 

A PCR test is not required.

 

Hate to spoil everybody's fun speculating and sharing rumors, experiences, recipes, etc.  but here is the straight poop:

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html

 


Also technically it’s not 72 hours before, but three days. So, for example, you can actually get your antigen Schnelltest done Wednesday morning for a Saturday afternoon flight to the US. At least according to the CDC rules. I personally wouldn’t cut it so close - both times I did my test the day before.

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9 hours ago, MollyWolly said:

Also technically it’s not 72 hours before, but three days.

 

That's correct.

 

Just to add to the confusion for international travelers, the US defines "3 days" as any time within the 3d calendar day preceding the day of flight but the Germans define their "48 hour" limit as exactly that:  48 hours prior to take-off.

 

Since it is left to the airline to interpret each destination country's rules and decide who qualifies to fly on a given day and who doesn't, "your mileage may vary" . . .

 

 

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13 hours ago, Santitas said:

That’s definitely true. My sister and husband were here for a visit last week and they’re fully vaccinated and still had to get tested before being let back into the US. They’re also citizens  not simply visa/green card holders.

What´s the thing with the attestation mentioned in the above link:

Quote
What is an attestation?

An attestation is a statement, writing, entry, or other representation under 18 U.S.C. § 1001 that confirms that the information provided is true. 

Where do you  get it from? My son was tested and the only proof he received from a test centre (in Bavaria) was a sms. Is that sufficient? Is maybe the airline in charge of providing the attestation? After all the website says:

Quote
Who is checking to make sure that people have a negative test or documentation of recovery before they board a plane to the US?

The airline will confirm a COVID-19 negative test result or documentation of recovery for all passengers before boarding.

 

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4 hours ago, jeba said:

What´s the thing with the attestation mentioned in the above link:

Where do you  get it from?

 

the "attestation" is likely to be found on your airline's website (or at least a link).  For example, Lufthansa says "All travelers to the United States of America are required to complete the disclosure and attestation form before departure and have a printed version with them." 

 

the Lufthansa website has a link to a CDC pdf. 

 

you can also find the pdf on the CDC website  https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/fr-proof-negative-test.html 

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