COVID-19: tests for travel Which one do I choose?

Some countries require you to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Check what types of test there are, and what you need to bear in mind when planning your trip.

What do I need to bear in mind if I’m asked to provide proof of a negative test in order to travel?

Before deciding which test to take, check on the following:

The most common tests are:

To find out whether or not you have the disease right now: Diagnostic Tests for Active Infection (PDIA)

PCR
Where are these tests carried out?
Laboratory testing
How are these tests carried out?
By means of a nasal swab
How soon are the results ready?*
In about five hours, although in some cases it can take days
TMA
Where are these tests carried out?
Laboratory testing
How are these tests carried out?
By means of a nasal swab
How soon are the results ready?*
In about two hours
Antigen tests
Where are these tests carried out?
Laboratory testing
How are these tests carried out?
By means of a nasal swab
How soon are the results ready?*
In about 15 minutes

To find out whether nor not you have been in contact with the virus: Antibody tests

Rapid antibody test
Where are these tests carried out?
Rapid test
How are these tests carried out?
With a drop of blood from a finger prick
How soon are the results ready?*
In about 15 minutes
ELISA Test
Where are these tests carried out?
Laboratory testing
How are these tests carried out?
By taking a blood sample drawn from a vein
How soon are the results ready?*
In about 48 hours
CLIA Test
Where are these tests carried out?
Laboratory testing
How are these tests carried out?
By taking a blood sample drawn from a vein
How soon are the results ready?*
In about 48 hours

*Bear in mind that both the time taken to carry out the tests and the length of time it takes to get the results can vary depending on where it is you take the test.