Now that the U.S. government has launched its free coronavirus test delivery website, securing a test for work, school or just for peace of mind got easier for many Americans.
But how useful will these COVID-19 tests be for travelers who need a negative test to fly to their destination?
While some domestic destinations with testing requirements – including Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands – accept self-tests, they must be performed in front of a telehealth proctor. The same is true for international travelers returning to the United States.
In other words, you’ll have to pay close attention to what sort of at-home test you take before submitting it to your airline.
“They’re not very trusting – they want to see it done in a lab where they watched you put a swab in your nose,” said David Weber, a professor of medicine, pediatrics and epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Nothing prevents you from just opening the kit, picking the swab out and putting it in (your nose) without touching your body surface and then saying ‘See, I have a negative test’ and taking a picture on your phone.”
It’s not clear what kind of rapid COVID-19 tests will be sent to U.S. households. The Biden administration has signed contracts to purchase tests from Goldbelt Security LLC, Revival Health, Inc., Medea Inc. and Atlantic Trading LLC. The four companies did not respond to USA TODAY’s requests for comment.
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