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Traveling after you’ve had covid-19

Traveling after you’ve had covid-19
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Worried about proving you are covid negative after a recent infection? Read on

Covid-19 tests do not give an accurate result for about 90 days following a covid-19 infection. According to the CDC, covid tests taken within three months of recovery may give a positive result when you are no longer infectious. So how do you prove you are fit-to-fly if you have recently recovered from covid-19 and are no longer isolating?

Does my destination accept evidence of a previous covid-19 infection?

Some countries will accept evidence of a recent previous covid-19 infection in place of a negative covid test result. For example, some or all of the following:

  • a covid pass in an app or on paper
  • a positive viral test result on a sample taken during the past 90 days
  • a signed, dated letter on official letterhead from a healthcare provider or public health official clearing you to travel. It should contain identifying details that match those on your passport
  • any other documentation of recovery from covid

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information about traveling when you have recently recovered from covid-19.

Can I travel if I still have symptoms of covid-19?

If you still have symptoms of covid-19, you should check with a healthcare provider and follow local guidance. Some covid symptoms (for example, cough and fatigue) may linger even after you are no longer infectious.

Check the specific entry requirements of your destination

Countries differ in their approaches to border control during the pandemic. They may change their requirements rapidly and without notice. Please check the US Department of State Travel Advisories at every stage of your planning to ensure you are following the latest and most up-to-date advice.

At present, you do not need to take a PCR test for travel back to the USA. A lateral flow test result is acceptable. So if you are having difficulty obtaining all the documentation you need to prove your recovery from covid-19, it may be quicker and easier to take a lateral flow test.

Post-recovery take a lateral flow test rather than a PCR or LAMP test

If need to take a covid test and have recently recovered from covid-19, opt for the less sensitive lateral flow test (sometimes called a rapid antigen test). Some countries will accept a lateral flow test result, but not all destinations will. So you need to check the entry requirements for your destination. We offer rapid antigen tests at our clinics, or you can buy a kit from us for a video-supervised rapid antigen tests. This allows you to take the test in your own home. You can also buy a second kit to test before your return journey. This will save you the bother of finding a covid testing clinic at your destination, and will ensure your test is supervised by a trained, English-speaking healthcare professional.

 What will happen if I want to travel by air but don’t want to get tested for covid-19?

Your airline will not allow you to board your flight if you cannot show either a negative covid test result or documentation of recovery.