International air travel is gradually getting back to normal, but most countries require travelers to have their COVID-19 fit-to-fly test certificate on arrival. They usually require travelers to get their PCR swab test 72 – 96 hours before their trip.
Although people can now travel, the process is more stressful than it used to be. A lot of uncertainties now surround international air travels as countries and airlines are constantly changing their entry and travel requirements.
What does the COVID-19 fit-to-fly certificate involve?
For travelers to get their COVID-19 fit-to-fly certificate, they need to perform a COVID-19 fit-to-fly test. The certificate has to certify that you tested negative for the coronavirus before your departure or arrival at your travel destination.
The fit-to-fly certificate has to be signed by a qualified doctor, and you must get your test a at recognised COVID-19 testing centre.
What type of COVID-19 test do I need to perform to travel?
Most countries require travellers to get an RT-PCR swab test before their arrival. At the time of performing the test, it tells you whether or not you have contracted the coronavirus. To perform the test, a health healthcare provider will use a cotton swab stick to take your nasal and throat (nasopharyngeal) sample. This does not hurt, but some people find it discomforting and does not last for more than 10 minutes.
Some countries may require travellers to get a COVID-19 antibody test and the RT-PCR test. The antibody test does not require a fingerprick blood sample but a venous whole blood sample. An antibody test does not detect an active infection but checks if a person previously had the coronavirus.
Note that a negative COVID-19 antibody test does not indicate that you did not have the coronavirus, but only tells you that the antibody specific to the coronavirus is present at the time of testing.
How long before I get my COVID-19 test result?
The duration of the test varies, but in most cases, people get the result for their COVID-19 test within 2 – 3 days. Bear in mind that, there may be a delay in getting your COVID-19 test result, so, ensure you consider this while making travel plans.
Why is it important to have a COVID-19 fit-to-fly certificate?
The number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise again, and with international travels now open, this may be a dangerous combination to increase the spread of the virus between travellers from different destinations.
Getting a fit-to-fly certificate requires travellers to have their COVID-19 test to know those who are currently infected. The testing and certificate are preventive measures which helps to reduce the risk of an infected person spreading the virus on their flights and at their travel destination.
The fact that some infected people are asymptomatic also increases the need for testing before travelling to prevent asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus from spreading it because they have the potential to infect many people unknowingly. The PCR test can detect the coronavirus even when the patient shows no symptoms.
How to get a COVID-19 fit-to-fly certificate?
Getting a COVID-19 fit-to-fly certificate may not be as stressful as some people think it is. Some clinics offer home test sampling where you would have to take your swab sample yourself at home then send it to the COIVID-19 testing lab for analysis. You may also decide to visit the clinic, where a healthcare provider will take your swab sample.
Your result would be available within 2 – 3 days, and the clinic will issue you the result and the fit-to-fly certificate through your preferred means. Ensure you get your test within the recommended timeframe of your travel destination.
Is the timing of the test or the time of the result important?
Most countries require travelers to get the test within a specific timeframe, so the time you take the test is usually the most important. Ensure your testing time is within the timeframe required by the country you intend to travel to and get your result before departure.
For your PCR test London and COVID-19 fit-to-fly certificate, contact Blood London, or book an appointment.