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COVID PCR test Pamplona

ScottPilgrim

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
We are doing Camino Le Puy and then walking to Pamplona where some of us will go back to US while others continue to Santiago de Compestela. I am realizing that the US government may still be requiring negative PCR tests for travelers to the US, even those that are fully vaccinated. I cannot find good information about how to get a PCR test in Spain (apart from info provided on this board about doing so in SdC). Does anyone have any insight? We have to get it within 3 days (not 72 hours but 3 calendar days according to CDC) of the flight so that means Roncevalles, Zuburi or Pamplona. A little worrying.
 
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If I was in your position I wouldn’t waste a second on trying to get a PCR in Roncesvalles or Zubiri. I’d be googling PCR in Pamplona. Though I guess no one is flying out of Pamplona so the other resources are likely Bilbao, Barca or Madrid.
The other issue, that whatever the requirements are today they will be different by then, is no doubt on your list
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
We are doing Camino Le Puy and then walking to Pamplona where some of us will go back to US while others continue to Santiago de Compestela. I am realizing that the US government may still be requiring negative PCR tests for travelers to the US, even those that are fully vaccinated. I cannot find good information about how to get a PCR test in Spain (apart from info provided on this board about doing so in SdC). Does anyone have any insight? We have to get it within 3 days (not 72 hours but 3 calendar days according to CDC) of the flight so that means Roncevalles, Zuburi or Pamplona. A little worrying.
Yes, currently you need a negative Covid test to fly to the US. It can be a PCR or an Antigen test.

 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I have found online a company which offers various COVID-19 tests widely in Spain. The information is available in English and they offer their services in Pamplona. The website address is medmesafe.com I may have to use them myself before returning to Canada. I cannot say anything about their reliability.
 

ScottPilgrim

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I have found online a company which offers various COVID-19 tests widely in Spain. The information is available in English and they offer their services in Pamplona. The website address is medmesafe.com I may have to use them myself before returning to Canada. I cannot say anything about their reliability.
I saw them. Was having trouble penetrating their web site but I sent them an email asking about timing since they seemed to imply turnaround varied by locale. The CDC guidelines are confounding because they don't actually prohibit rapid testing it just has to be certain kind.
 
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ScottPilgrim

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
If I was in your position I wouldn’t waste a second on trying to get a PCR in Roncesvalles or Zubiri. I’d be googling PCR in Pamplona. Though I guess no one is flying out of Pamplona so the other resources are likely Bilbao, Barca or Madrid.
The other issue, that whatever the requirements are today they will be different by then, is no doubt on your list
Well, I am flying out of Pamplona with a transfer in Madrid so I have to make that work for me one way or another. Oddly I have an overnight layover (literally like 11 pm to 11 am) in Madrid which and I'm guessing the 3-day clock applies to the US leg from Madrid making things tighter still.

I would hope things would change, but am not counting on it it given that the CDC doesn't seem to distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers now, so hard to see what shifts it.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Well, I am flying out of Pamplona with a transfer in Madrid so I have to make that work for me one way or another. Oddly I have an overnight layover (literally like 11 pm to 11 am) in Madrid which and I'm guessing the 3-day clock applies to the US leg from Madrid making things tighter still.

I would hope things would change, but am not counting on it it given that the CDC doesn't seem to distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers now, so hard to see what shifts it.
CDC cannot make that distinction because: 1) fully vaccinated can still transmit COV and 2) Delta is showing itself frequently enough to be a break-through *with symptoms* to be concerning for re-entry to regions where many people may be headed for final destinations with very low vaccination rates, and 3) because signficant rises in case counts for Spain and Portugal now mean that other countries are concerned about travellers returning from the peninsula.

Trying to figure it out on an individual basis is too difficult: hence, a blanket policy.

I hope you can get it sorted with a minimum leave of difficulty.
 

ScottPilgrim

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Madrid airport can do an Antigen test in the right timeframe but I cannot tell if that is adequate bc CDC order is so dense (actually trying to read the document)
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Madrid airport can do an Antigen test in the right timeframe but I cannot tell if that is adequate bc CDC order is so dense (actually trying to read the document)
I would think that the tests done at airports would be the type that are acceptable to fly.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I would think that the tests done at airports would be the type that are acceptable to fly.
I would think that too. But since the regulations of countries to which the many airlines flying out of each airport are flying may vary greatly, I suspect that only those which are simple and practical to offer are likely available there. Antigen tests are not acceptable in Canada, but are widely available at European airports.
 
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ScottPilgrim

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
CDC cannot make that distinction because: 1) fully vaccinated can still transmit COV and 2) Delta is showing itself frequently enough to be a break-through *with symptoms* to be concerning for re-entry to regions where many people may be headed for final destinations with very low vaccination rates, and 3) because signficant rises in case counts for Spain and Portugal now mean that other countries are concerned about travellers returning from the peninsula.

Trying to figure it out on an individual basis is too difficult: hence, a blanket policy.

I hope you can get it sorted with a minimum leave of difficulty.
I know all this. Not getting into debating the wisdom of CDC policy insofar as it differs from that of other nations so don't feel you need to defend the thinking to me. I live in NYC so I'm pretty well informed on Covid.

Just need to figure out how to comply.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Here is the text of the CDC‘s regulation about type of test, but maybe you have already seen that. But it clearly allows an antigen test.

Passengers must be tested with a viral test that could be either an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). Examples of available NAATs for SARS-CoV-2 include but are not restricted to reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP), transcription-mediated amplification (TMA), nicking enzyme amplification reaction (NEAR), and helicase-dependent amplification (HDA). The test used must be authorized for use by the relevant national authority for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in the country where the test is administered. A viral test conducted for U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) personnel, including DOD contractors, dependents, and other U.S. government employees, and tested by a DOD laboratory located in a foreign country also meets the requirements of the Order.

The Madrid airport gives rapid antigen tests with results in less than an hour. You might want to make an appointment there for early in the morning.

 

ScottPilgrim

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Here is the text of the CDC‘s regulation about type of test:

Passengers must be tested with a viral test that could be either an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). Examples of available NAATs for SARS-CoV-2 include but are not restricted to reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP), transcription-mediated amplification (TMA), nicking enzyme amplification reaction (NEAR), and helicase-dependent amplification (HDA). The test used must be authorized for use by the relevant national authority for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in the country where the test is administered. A viral test conducted for U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) personnel, including DOD contractors, dependents, and other U.S. government employees, and tested by a DOD laboratory located in a foreign country also meets the requirements of the Order.

The Madrid airport gives rapid antigen tests with results in less than an hour. You might want to make an appointment there for early in the morning.

Thank you! This is a super helpful answer. I had been perusing the document bc I could have sworn I saw antigen tests mentioned but then couldn't find it again. I'll make an appointment for the morning of the flight to the US. I won't have time for the PCR despite an overnight layover bc I get in too late the night before the american flight.
 

ScottPilgrim

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Made an appointment for the morning of the flight out of Madrid. Very easy. Cost me 25 Euros, but worth the peace of mind even if I end up not needing it. I'm sure any number of things can still go wrong, but at least I have one plan in place. Thank you for the help!
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I know all this. Not getting into debating the wisdom of CDC policy insofar as it differs from that of other nations so don't feel you need to defend the thinking to me. I live in NYC so I'm pretty well informed on Covid.

Just need to figure out how to comply.

Just sounded like you were frustrated in the "cannot seem to distinguish" -- sought to provide a brief that might at least make it feel less capricious out there.

I don't think it's worth debating CDC policy (or PHAC, or any other for that matter...). Messaging from health agencies around the globe has been varying levels of "hot mess" from "tepid'' to "scorching".

Edited to indicate: relived that @peregrina2000 was able to relay such pragmatic information and that you have been able to book a test.
 
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Camino Frances , Pamplona Burgos august 2018 Burgos to Santiago 19 /04 to 20/05/2019
Try Unilabs
My daughter got aa antigenic test from Villa do Conde in Portugal to go back to France 2 weeks ago
They operate in Spain too

Go to the website and check their location in Spain and call them to get an appointment
They work very well
Good luck
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances , Pamplona Burgos august 2018 Burgos to Santiago 19 /04 to 20/05/2019
Unilabs in Vila do Conde .. she had the result of her antigenic test4 hours later by mail
 

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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!



This Kit has been available for a while now. United Airlines has been advertising it for its customers.
However, it comes in a set of 6 so it will cost $150 to purchase the test.
Not bad for a family with children. But for a single traveler ?

For a Camino walker in hot Weather beware! As I previously posted, The manufacturer of the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test Kit recommends test kits be stored at temperatures between 2 and 30°C (35.6 - 86°F). Any extended exposure of the test kit to temperatures beyond this range may effect quality of test results.

The company warns that If you have ordered home delivery of the test kit and expect temperatures in your area to be outside of this range at time of delivery, it is recommended that you arrange for someone to be home at or near time of delivery to receive the test kit or, alternatively, select a convenient pick-up location.
So what happens,then when one carries it on one of those hot (or cold) Camino days?
 

JLV

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Well, I am flying out of Pamplona with a transfer in Madrid so I have to make that work for me one way or another. Oddly I have an overnight layover (literally like 11 pm to 11 am) in Madrid which and I'm guessing the 3-day clock applies to the US leg from Madrid making things tighter still.

I would hope things would change, but am not counting on it it given that the CDC doesn't seem to distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers now, so hard to see what shifts it.
Hello, They are offering antigen tests at major airports in Spain,Madrid being one
 
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JLV

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
My sister in-Law came to visit us here in the states, from Lima, Peru. All she needed was an antigen test to enter. And one to leave.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I'm taking a test kit with me. I'm flying American Airlines and they have a link to a testing company named eMed. You need an internet connection to end the sample data to a lab and get results back in about 30 minutes. The price for the kit, which is actually 6 tests, is pretty comparable to what I saw for getting a test in Spain:$150.00. They seem to partner with a few airlines. I'm travelling through Santiago and staying at the same hotel coming and going, and am going to leave it there in a piece of luggage. They have already agreed to let me store the luggage.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I'm taking a test kit with me. I'm flying American Airlines and they have a link to a testing company named eMed. You need an internet connection to end the sample data to a lab and get results back in about 30 minutes. The price for the kit, which is actually 6 tests, is pretty comparable to what I saw for getting a test in Spain:$150.00. They seem to partner with a few airlines. I'm travelling through Santiago and staying at the same hotel coming and going, and am going to leave it there in a piece of luggage. They have already agreed to let me store the luggage.
Please make sure you can store the test between 2 and 30°C (35.6 - 86°F) or the results may be invalid.
 

SoyGalego

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte/Primo/Fisterra 17
Ingles/Muxia/Fisterra 18.
We are doing Camino Le Puy and then walking to Pamplona where some of us will go back to US while others continue to Santiago de Compestela. I am realizing that the US government may still be requiring negative PCR tests for travelers to the US, even those that are fully vaccinated. I cannot find good information about how to get a PCR test in Spain (apart from info provided on this board about doing so in SdC). Does anyone have any insight? We have to get it within 3 days (not 72 hours but 3 calendar days according to CDC) of the flight so that means Roncevalles, Zuburi or Pamplona. A little worrying.
Hi, I've been using the airlines webpage to gather information on PCR testing. I've found it pretty useful, so maybe check with your own airline and see what information they have available to you on their website. I'm flying with Vueling and their page is pretty good, they're offering a discount for passengers. If it helps here's the link. https://www.vueling.com/en/passengers/test-pcr-covid/. Good luck.
 
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Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
We are doing Camino Le Puy and then walking to Pamplona where some of us will go back to US while others continue to Santiago de Compestela. I am realizing that the US government may still be requiring negative PCR tests for travelers to the US, even those that are fully vaccinated. I cannot find good information about how to get a PCR test in Spain (apart from info provided on this board about doing so in SdC). Does anyone have any insight? We have to get it within 3 days (not 72 hours but 3 calendar days according to CDC) of the flight so that means Roncevalles, Zuburi or Pamplona. A little worrying.

I'm not sure if this helps you and I did not read all the previous postings prior to writing this.
I just read the United States CDC requirement page and it gives you (as you said) 3 days to get the test BEFORE you board your flight back home to the U.S.
This 3 days is in your advantage as opposed to the 72 hour window since as an example; "If your flight is at 1300 on a Friday you can technically get your negative test anytime on the previous Tuesday or after."
 
Last edited:

ScottPilgrim

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I'm not sure if this helps you and I did not read all the previous postings prior to writing this.
I just read the United States CDC requirement page and it gives you (as you said) 3 days to get the test BEFORE you board your flight back home to the U.S.
This 3 days is in your advantage as opposed to the 72 hour window since as an example; "If your flight is at 1300 on a Friday you can technically get your negative test anytime on the previous Tuesday or after."
Thank you. I did read that but it is also very useful info for anyone reading this thread looking for clarity.
 

ScottPilgrim

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
So just to provide a coda. I was able to book an appointment for an Antigen (or PCR) test at a clinic in Pamplona. I booked another in the Madrid airport for the morning of my connecting flight in case something goes wrong getting the first one.
 

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