Covid-19 Mandates: Testing for Travel & Finding a Trustworthy Testing Site

Covid-19 Testing for Travel

As we enter 2022, plenty of Covid related questions remain unanswered. One question many Americans have on their mind is, “How will the US handle travel?”

The Biden administration announced on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021, that they will be “tightening travel rules to and within the U.S., requiring all in-bound international passengers to test for Covid within 24 hours of departure starting on Monday and extending its mask requirement on planes and public transportation through March 18.” 

CNBC stated that the “pre-departure testing protocols will apply to all inbound international travelers regardless of vaccination status and will begin as early as next week, senior administration officials told reporters during a press call late Wednesday. Previously, the U.S. required proof of a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of departure, though this was tightened to only vaccinated travelers last month. Unvaccinated travelers had to have a negative Covid test within one day of departure.” 

The arrival of the Omnicron variant in the United States leaves a probability that travel mandates and restrictions could fluctuate as we enter the new year. Below, we discuss which test is right for you and how to approach regular testing when traveling. 

*We recommend staying up to date with the CDC and your travel destination, and the rules continue to evolve.

Testing for Travel 


The RT-PCR test is the gold standard for COVID-19 testing, according to intensive studies.

PCR tests have been proven to be the most accurate of all tests so far. Plus, if you test directly with the lab, same-day or 24-hour results may be available. Due to the high volume of testing, many are experiencing delays in results. Be sure to check with your testing location on test turnaround times.

“Rapid” or antigen tests are becoming increasingly more common. Unfortunately, these tests are far less accurate and have a history of showing false results. Rapid antigen tests may be used in some areas as acceptable testing for travel. The Cleveland Clinic provides the following description, including clear time frames and uses for the two tests:

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR): This tests for the presence of the virus’ genetic material as it breaks down. PCR is the most reliable and accurate test for detecting active infection but can take hours to perform. There are a few quicker options, however.

Antigen test: Antigens are bits of proteins on the virus’s surface. These molecules can trigger an immune response when coming into contact with a recognizable virus. Antigen tests typically take only 15 to 30 minutes. However, rapid antigen tests are most accurate when used within a few days after you notice symptoms when the most significant amount of the virus is present in your body.

Finding a Trustworthy Testing Site 


Finding a trustworthy COVID-19 testing option is another hot topic these days. The easiest way to know if you can trust your testing, accuracy of results, and private information is to ensure your testing site is a CLIA certified laboratory. Direct to lab testing has become much more accessible, and now you can find options for Rapid Antigen and Rapid or traditional RT-PCR COVID-19 testing.

A mobile concierge can come to your home to conduct testing in some areas, enabling you to test without going to a waiting room or out in public. Testing for COVID-19 directly with a trusted laboratory is the best way to get accurate and fast results. In addition, the results are often given now to you in real-time versus having to wait to hear from the doctor’s office.

Many people were hoping that the vaccine would bring an end to testing; unfortunately, this is not the case. With the increase in cases in certain parts of the country, it is clear that you can still contract COVID-19 if you are vaccinated. The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people be tested for COVID 3-5 days following known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you have any questions, concerns, or need testing, we can help. Contact My Labs Direct at 877-355-7978 or visit MyLabsDirect to learn more.

Shopping Cart