As you’ve probably heard or seen on TV, travel is back and in a big way. Unfortunately, many airlines and airports around the world, not just in the good ol’ USA, just aren’t ready. There are countless stories of long lines at both security (ahem, Amsterdam) and immigration (I’m looking at you Toronto’s YYZ) as well as pilot shortages.
You can’t do anything about the latter but you can get CLEAR (it goes up $10 on May 19), TSA PreCheck to help with security lines in the U.S. and Global Entry to cut immigration times when returning home from international travels.
Speaking of returning home, the Biden Administration and the CDC still require every traveler two years of age and older to the U.S.A., regardless of vaccination status or citizenship (yes, vaccinated Americans are required too), to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test “no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States”.
There’s speculation that the testing requirement will end in the next few months as Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told Crain’s Chicago Business on Thursday that he did not think pre-departure rules “will be there forever.” The National Post notes that he said that lifting them would require the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to be confident that “relaxing it would not harm the progress that we’ve made against the virus.”
If your international trip isn’t for a few months, I would wait and see if they drop the testing requirement or not. However, if your trip is in the next month or so and you don’t want to worry about scrambling the last day of your trip, the testing site possibly being shut down (if there’s a national holiday), showing up to the airport extra early or overpaying, then I highly recommend getting proctored tests before leaving the country.
Unfortunately, the free government COVID tests you received in the mail don’t work for international travel. They’re still great to use before leaving your house to make sure you’re not COVID positive and having to quarantine as soon as you arrive at your destination like what happened to my buddy. Or if you’re not feeling well, to test yourself while on the road.
The company I use is called eMed and they’ve made the tedious testing process as easy as possible. Just log on to their website before your trip (best 10 days ahead of your trip), order the number of tests you want and have them shipped to you.
Note: You can open the package when they arrive but DO NOT open the tests because if you don’t do it in front of the live agent, then the test will be null and void.
The eMed tests meet the testing requirements for international arrivals into the USA. What’s great about these tests is that it includes a live, virtual visit with an eMed Certified Guide and enables the full testing process to be done at home or in your hotel room and the verified results come in just 15 minutes.
You don’t need any appointment as eMed has live 24/7 agents.
Here’s how it works
- When it’s time to take your test, scan the QR code on the front of the box or visit eMed.com to get started with your eMed virtual visit.
- An eMed Certified Guide will take you through the test process, and you will have results in 15 minutes.
- An eMed Lab Report with your test result will be delivered to your inbox.
eMed sells testing kits in either two ($69.99) or three packs ($99.99). The reason they don’t sell a single kit is because they recommend two kits per person in case your test result is inconclusive and you need to retest.