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Is rapid testing free for international travelers?

Watford, United...
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Is rapid testing free for international travelers?
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Regulations have changed and A family

Member needs to take a rapid test for a return flight to

Europe. Can they avail of free NYC wide testing? Will they be billed?

30 replies to this topic
Astoria, New York
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1. Re: Is rapid testing free for international travelers?
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They do not ask about immigration status

They should be able to find a convenient testing location (but should check that the type of test they need is offered and test results can be returned in the time frame needed)

Use the Zip (postal) Code to find locations https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-testing.page

Brooklyn, New York
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2. Re: Is rapid testing free for international travelers?
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There are free testing sites all throughout the city.

Bergen County, New...
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3. Re: Is rapid testing free for international travelers?
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I'm no longer a resident of NYC. But that site lists testing criteria that do not include subsequent international travel. Aside from the financial burden on the government, it seems likely that the credentials/documents necessary for an airline (or a government agent back at home) may not be available at that style of NYC GOVERNMENT testing.

I see that the linked government site has a link to a larger universe of testing locations, where (they note) that not all may be free. I urge the OP to be very careful to select a site that actually serves their international travel needs.

(I don't have personal experience, I simply read the linked site.)

Brooklyn, New York
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4. Re: Is rapid testing free for international travelers?
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I’ve received multiple recent tests at NYC health & hospitals mobile sites, and have not been asked about my residence or immigration status.

I think the idea is that testing is a public good that benefits everyone & should be widely accessible. So no shame in using one of these locations.

Bergen County, New...
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Linda, I was drawing a distinction between (for example) EXPOSURE or SYMPTOMS, and international travel rules. The fact is that most health care in the US is not provided at government expense. Vacation travel is not a basic human right, as is health care.

And the overriding issue is DOCUMENTATION that the OP may need.

Brooklyn, New York
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Understood - but my understanding is that epidemiologists and public health officials consider widespread testing a useful tool to track/monitor the spread of the disease, even in the absence of symptoms or exposure. That’s especially true with new variants emerging. The city’s decision to make tests available to anyone who walks up seems to me to reflect that philosophy. Like I said, it’s a public good (even for international tourists).

Re: documentation…I confess I don’t know what re-entry requirements are in the UK (or any other country), but the documentation I received electronically from Health & Hospitals was pretty thorough: date of test, type of test, results. I can’t imagine what more could be required.

Bergen County, New...
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7. Re: Is rapid testing free for international travelers?
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Linda, thank you for that first hand report on the results of a NYHH test result! That is what has been missing from all recent discussion of that topic. It's not your duty to share personal data, but it would be helpful if you described the nature (15-minute, PCR, or other ... ) of the test that was reported to you electronically.

I have to note that 15-minute antigen tests are least accurate when performed on someone who has no symptoms. However, I still had to have one every time I was admitted for a "compassionate" nursing home visit. I think the nursing home paid for it, but that's unclear. That's all we have for quick results.

Guadalajara, Mexico
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for San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas
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8. Re: Is rapid testing free for international travelers?
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Obs any certified lab or medical professional that administers tests has validated forms, updated frequently. That is their contracted license agreement internationally as testers and testing facilities, the in-home tests no are not advised for travel as they are not accurate or acceptable for passport clearance.

For example my friend goes to Barcelona today for a family member visit. Due to our dance school we have a contracted lab relationship, the doctor comes, does the PCR test and gets results, takes total 15 mins, and gives certified form electronically, I suggest printing it out also. If I go to a clinic here it is much the same process like this https://www.dam-health.com/guadalajara/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5cDR5sLH9AIVFhPUAR3d9AfBEAAYASAAEgJ5yvD_BwE

Guadalajara, Mexico
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9. Re: Is rapid testing free for international travelers?
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And the Q about free, I think the centers thru NYC are free for public health reasons, as an international tourist please provide some donation.

Brooklyn, New York
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10. Re: Is rapid testing free for international travelers?
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>>> it would be helpful if you described the nature (15-minute, PCR, or other ... ) of the test that was reported to you electronically.<<<

Sure, glad to do so!

I walked up to one of the vans and registered (you can do so online via a QR code, or fill out a form). Within 5 minutes my nostrils were being swabbed, twice on each side - one sample for the PCR test, one for the rapid antigen test. I got the antigen results within 30 minutes, via email and text (my phone pinged while I was still out running errands).

Although Health & Hospitals advises that there may be a 2-3 day wait for PCR results, I’ve consistently received them within 24 hours.

(I do volunteer work at a soup kitchen, which requires frequent testing…hence all these tests!)

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