Search 57,387 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets

COVID Testing requirements for returning international US travelers — June 2021

Status
Not open for further replies.

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I know that some people from the US are jumping off to Spain in the near future. Getting there now seems pretty straightforward if you have a record of your vaccination. Please note that I am only talking about the US. Anyone who wants to discuss another country should start a new thread.

Coming home requires a test conducted three days/72 hours before your flight departs. This is a very generous window, as explained on the CDC website:

Why does the Order specify 3 days rather than 72 hours? What is considered 3 days?
The 3-day period is the 3 days before the flight’s departure. The Order uses a 3-day timeframe instead of 72 hours to provide more flexibility to the traveler. By using a 3-day window, test validity does not depend on the time of the flight or the time of day that the test was administered.

For example, if a passenger’s flight is at 1pm on a Friday, the passenger could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Tuesday or after.


The website also provides details about what kind of test is acceptable.

What types of SARS-CoV-2 test are acceptable under the Order?
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.


So the CDC says either a PCR test or an antigen test is acceptable.

Does anyone on the forum have any insight into whether travelers should use one test or another? My medical and scientific knowledge is pretty elementary, but I wonder if an antigen test could reveal exposure to covid even though the traveler is not infected and has immunity.

Buen camino, Laurie
 
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop

LTfit

Veteran Member
I'll let someone else provide a link but from what I've read the PCR test detects the presence of viral RNA. The test is very accurate and can detect an infection even before the person becomes infectious. Negative is the cost and delay in results.

The Antigen test detects viral proteins. Apparently it is not as sensitive as the PCR, with false negatives thereby infecting others. Price less than the PCR and fast results.

Does this help?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I'll let someone else provide a link but from what I've read the PCR test detects the presence of viral RNA. The test is very accurate and can detect an infection even before the person becomes infectious. Negative is the cost and delay in results.

The Antigen test detects viral proteins. Apparently it is not as sensitive as the PCR, with false negatives thereby infecting others. Price less than the PCR and fast results.

Does this help?
Well, that makes me wonder why the US authorizes an antigen test. Since it is cheaper and quicker, I assume everyone will opt for antigen test. Looks like you can even get one after checking in at some airports, with results in 20 minutes.


Appointment required.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Well, that makes me wonder why the US authorizes an antigen test. Since it is cheaper and quicker, I assume everyone will opt for antigen test. Looks like you can even get one after checking in at some airports, with results in 20 minutes.


Appointment required.
Not sure. I know that Spain requires the PCR test to enter the country as well as the completion of a health form although apparently as of June 7th proof of vaccination will replace the PCR test but I'm derailing the thread as you are wondering about those returning to the U.S.
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.

Mycroft

Active Member
I'll let someone else provide a link but from what I've read the PCR test detects the presence of viral RNA. The test is very accurate and can detect an infection even before the person becomes infectious. Negative is the cost and delay in results.

The Antigen test detects viral proteins. Apparently it is not as sensitive as the PCR, with false negatives thereby infecting others. Price less than the PCR and fast results.

Does this help?
Yes, the antigen has some false negatives, and the PCR has some false positives. I wonder if the the US is open to either test based on the fact that the people traveling have had their vaccinations (unless they intentionally are using false documentation). That is to say, as I understand it, the EU is only letting in folks from the US who have been vaccinated.
 
Past OR future Camino
SJPP2Santiago completed (Sept.15, 2018).
I know that some people from the US are jumping off to Spain in the near future. Getting there now seems pretty straightforward if you have a record of your vaccination. Please note that I am only talking about the US. Anyone who wants to discuss another country should start a new thread.

Coming home requires a test conducted three days/72 hours before your flight departs. This is a very generous window, as explained on the CDC website:

Why does the Order specify 3 days rather than 72 hours? What is considered 3 days?
The 3-day period is the 3 days before the flight’s departure. The Order uses a 3-day timeframe instead of 72 hours to provide more flexibility to the traveler. By using a 3-day window, test validity does not depend on the time of the flight or the time of day that the test was administered.

For example, if a passenger’s flight is at 1pm on a Friday, the passenger could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Tuesday or after.


The website also provides details about what kind of test is acceptable.

What types of SARS-CoV-2 test are acceptable under the Order?
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.


So the CDC says either a PCR test or an antigen test is acceptable.

Does anyone on the forum have any insight into whether travelers should use one test or another? My medical and scientific knowledge is pretty elementary, but I wonder if an antigen test could reveal exposure to covid even though the traveler is not infected and has immunity.

Buen camino, Laurie
thank you very much Laurie for your research and knowledge share for us!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
So the CDC says either a PCR test or an antigen test is acceptable.

Does anyone on the forum have any insight into whether travelers should use one test or another? My medical and scientific knowledge is pretty elementary, but I wonder if an antigen test could reveal exposure to covid even though the traveler is not infected and has immunity.
There is an immunity test, but it's a complex procedure that needs to be done by a biology lab, and it's likely still expensive ; though I understand a cheaper one is in testing phase.

The antigen is more reliable in that it detects antibodies, except that some already having shaken off the disease will test positive. Reliability of PCR is highly variable, very poor reliability in UK for example.

I'd use antigen -- results are much faster.
 
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Past OR future Camino
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
There is an immunity test, but it's a complex procedure that needs to be done by a biology lab, and it's likely still expensive ; though I understand a cheaper one is in testing phase.

The antigen is more reliable in that it detects antibodies, except that some already having shaken off the disease will test positive. Reliability of PCR is highly variable, very poor reliability in UK for example.

I'd use antigen -- results are much faster.
I may have missed this post or perhaps postponed replying...

"The antigen is more reliable in that it detects antibodies,"
Antigen and antibody are not the same ; the presence of antigen stimulates the production of antibodies. An antigen test detects the presence of proteins or glycans which are part of the virus.

"Reliability of PCR is highly variable, very poor reliability in UK for example." This is not the case ; PCR is very reliable and is more accurate than antigen tests (by which I presume is meant Lateral Flow Tests).

"Immunity test" ; I presume that this refers to antibody testing. There are now quite a few commercially-available tests some of which detect antibodies against N-proteins and other tests which reveal antibodies against S-proteins (spike-protein). The latter antibodies are elevated after immunisation and are thought to be of prime importance in conferring immunity.

There is further reading in this link.

Neither the UK NHS nor the CDC advises using (spike) antibody tests ; there seems to be a fear that those subjects with positive results may reduce or abandon Covid precautions. There is of course no guarantee that good levels of spike-antibodies will protect again infection...but they may be a confidence-builder.

Which test to have when returning? An antigen test is faster and cheaper but has a higher rate of false-negatives...but this is probably not of concern in an asymptomatic population.

PS : UK residents may wish to look at BioCard by BioDiagnostics (usual disclaimer).
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 101 ratings
Downloads
15,185
Updated
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Downloads
7,863
Updated
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
Downloads
7,669
Updated

Similar threads

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

Top