With all the talk about COVID testing, people are starting to get really confused about some of the requirements. After all, the CDC requirements seem to change on the daily. And some people still want to travel outside of the U.S., COVIDor not.

But there’s one thing for sure. At least as of this writing, you are required to take a COVID test within 24 hours of any flight into the United States. Vaccinated or not, citizen or visitor, the test needs to be done. And it needs to be negative.

Many hotels and resorts outside of this country know this and have antigen testing readily available with same-day results. But you usually have to arrange this a few days before and get the timing just right since the window for a result is so small.

Not only that, but these tests can be very expensive, with resorts charging up to $200 for an antigen test. It’ll be cheaper if you find a doctor or a clinic outside of the hotel, but who wants to interrupt their vacation to have to go to the doctor?

I want to make it easy for you. The answer is simple: A CDC authorized self-test. The one I used is called BinaxNow (it must say AG Card) .

But you can find a list of some other ones HERE.

Do not make the mistake of buying the Binax test at a drugstore. Because the one difference between self-testing at home and self-testing in your hotel room is that the latter requires a telemedicine appointment with a proctor to make sure you are doing the test correctly and to make sure you’re not cheating.

You download the app that they suggest and just click “Start Testing”. They provide you with immediate results that you can upload to your airline’s website or print out.

The test is simple, almost exactly like the one that’s available at your local drugstore.

You call the number provided, making sure not to open the box until you have the proctor watching you to make sure the test is not tampered with.

They look at your identification, watch you do the test, and then set a timer for you so that for 15 minutes you can go about your business and then come back to read the results with them.

It’s so simple, and when you think about it, pretty amazing. And at 69 bucks for a set of four tests (they recommend each traveler buy two in case of error or damage.) It’s a relative bargain.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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