Published August 26, 2021 by Ichor Blood Services
COVID-19 Travel Testing Before And After Your Departure To Your Destination

As more and more people around the globe are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, international travel is getting safer by the day. In light of this, the Canadian government has recently relaxed a number of restrictions. As of August 9, all fully vaccinated foreign nationals can enter Canada for discretionary travel, including tourism. Additionally, the 3-day quarantine at a government-designated hotel, which was mandatory for all travelers arriving by air, was lifted on the same day. 

One thing that has remained consistent, however, is your pre-departure and pre-arrival COVID-19 tests. Regardless of your vaccination status, you will still need to show a negative test taken 72 hours prior to your departure and your arrival flights.

The quickest and most reliable way to get tested both ways is through virtual testing. Ichor Blood Services, in partnership with StageZero Life Sciences, delivers personal test kits to any location across Canada and the US so that travellers can get tested anytime and anywhere and receive their results in record time. 

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While both countries have considerably relaxed their travel restrictions this summer, pre-boarding COVID-19 testing requirements remain unchanged. You will need proof of a negative test taken no more than 72 hours before your flight to the US and another negative test within the same time frame for your flight back to Canada.

Both Canada and the US accept similar types of COVID-19 tests, with PCR and antigen tests being the most popular and reliable. Antibody tests are not accepted by either side, and vaccination status does not preclude testing. 

How Can I Get Tested?

Travelers usually have 3 ways to get tested:

Testing at a public facility: Since the onset of the pandemic, the Canadian government has set up a number of designated testing centres and mobile clinics across the country. While testing is free, the turnaround time may be longer than 72 hours. This makes public facilities a poor choice for travel testing. Furthermore, it is not clear whether Canadian citizens can get tested at a public institution in the US. 

Testing at a private lab: Multiple labs and clinics in Canada and the US offer rapid PCR and antibody tests. Many locations offer walk-in testing, and turnaround is specifically geared towards beating the 72-hour window. As such, private facilities have become the testing sites of choice for travellers一even if services are not free. 

Virtual testing: Virtual testing is the most popular option for people who do not have the time to visit a private clinic for their travel testing. Though virtual testing can be a bit expensive, its unparalleled convenience, in conjunction with its quick turnaround, often offsets the cost. 

How Does Virtual Testing Work?

The flexibility that comes with virtual testing makes it an attractive choice for people with no time to spare. Here is how you can get tested from the comfort of your home or even from your office cubicle: 

  1. Order a test kit from an online distributor recognized by both Canadian and American federal authorities. Allow 1 or 2 weeks for the test kits to arrive. 
  2. Using the information included in the test kits, book your virtual test through an online portal. Make sure the test is scheduled no more than 72 hours before your flight. 
  3. Log into the online portal at the time of your scheduled test. A nurse will connect with you via videoconference and walk you through every step of the testing procedure. 
  4. Call the shipping company partnered with the company that manufactured your test kit. They will pick up your test and deliver it to a lab for processing. 
  5. You will receive an encrypted email with your test results within 48 hours of the pick-up. 
  6. You are ready to board your flight! 

If you plan to do virtual testing for your flight back to Canada, you can order 2 test kits and bring the remaining one across the border. Most labs that offer virtual testing serve most locations in both Canada and the US. 

Your COVID-19 Travel Testing Partner

The COVID-19 situation in Canada and the US may be improving, but travel testing remains as troublesome as ever. Luckily, you have 2 highly reliable options available to you: testing at a private lab and virtual testing. While both testing streams come at a cost, their convenience and swift turnaround often make it worth it.

Ichor Blood Services offer both in-clinic testing and virtual testing. Our labs in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Fredericton, NB, and Vaughan, ON, administer airline-approved PCR and antigen tests, among other COVID-19 tests. Our virtual testing, made possible by StageZero Life Sciences and FedEx, is easily accessible and returns your results within 48 hours. To learn more about our COVID-19 travel testing services, call 1-844-424-6728 or fill out the online contact form below

FAQ

Q: How much is a test kit from Ichor Blood Services?
A: Our 1-person test kit is $249 and our 2-people test kit is $399. 

Q: Does Ichor Blood Services offer rapid in-clinic COVID tests?
A: Yes. Ichor Blood Services offers both rapid PCR and antigen tests.

Q: I am a Canadian citizen flying to the US. Will I be eligible to get tested at a private clinic in the US for my flight home?
A: Yes. Private clinics in the US happily test Canadian citizens.

Contact Us for Physician Requisitioned General Blood Work, or Corporate Group Testing for the COVID-19 Antibody or COVID-19 Active PCR Test, or for Travel Testing Test Collection Services for the COVID-19 Antibody or Active PCR Test.

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