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Everything You Need to Know About Pre-flight COVID-19 Testing

by David Ryan
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Airlines are working hard to offer reassurance for those who are itching to travel. They are providing masks as well as disinfecting cabin between the flight time. Many airlines are also using a hospital-grade air filtration system on the plane.

Besides taking measures, airlines suggest that the modern aircraft ventilation system can stop spreading the virus even in a jam-packed cabin. However, no matter what they say, the pre-flight COVID 19 testing is absolutely mandatory before boarding on the flight.

The vaccine is the only thing that may break these regulations of testing. Till then, we will have to depend on the quarantine and testing protocols before and after the flight.

Do You Need a COVID Test Before Flying?

It depends on various factors. The requirement around the globe, your country of departure, your destination country, and your physical state are the factors that may impact. However, more and more countries require a negative PCR test result from an accredited within a particular time window. Suppose the travelers fail to provide this report. In that case, they may be denied boarding, denied entry, or face mandatory institutional quarantine upon arrival at the destination.


Some countries, such as UAE, have some more strict protocols for traveling. Regulations regarding the necessity for testing and essential travel documentation could alter these days in a moment. So, it is wise to keep yourself updated with the news and stay in touch with the country’s embassy.

Why Should You Get Tested Before Departure?

People are not traveling much around Europe’s borders due to strict border restrictions, limited reopening, quarantine measures, and changing pandemic policies. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says that 83% of the people will not fly if there is a quarantine condition upon arrival.

IATA also reported that compulsory pre-departure testing for all travelers is essential to restoring global air travel connectivity. This would offer policymakers the courage to entirely open borders and potentially remove the need for arrivals to be quarantined.

What Kind of Test Must You Do?

According to experts, when it comes to identifying the virus, the Real-time Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) procedure is the standard. A nasopharyngeal swab, a swab across the nose and the back of the mouth, is the foremost approach today. Some tests are, however, is designed to allow the test to be performed using a saliva sample.

The PCR test usually provide result in 24 to 48 hours which can be lengthy. Some companies have come up with rapid test kits, which provide results within 30 minutes to an hour. Most authorities may not accept the rapid test results because of the undependability. However, IATA called for quick, precise, affordable, easy-to-operate, scalable, and systematic for COVID-19 test to be developed and introduced for all passengers before departure.

What If You Test Positive?

If the test takes place prior to travel or at the departure point and your test results are positive, you may not be allowed to get on board as expected. Some airlines may offer flexible plans in this situation.

If the test takes place upon arrival and you test positive, you must comply with the rules and regulations of your destination country. In this case, airlines should not be forced to repatriate you or have any financial penalties.

So, now that you know the protocols of flying are you willing to travel still now? If you are, remember to keep yourself healthy and ready for any unexpected events. Remember to keep yourself and others safe by wearing a mask, washing or sanitizing your hands, and maintaining social distancing properly.

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