COVID PCR test for travelling to Italy

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PCR test for travelling to Italy: As some of you may already know, I (Susie) will be travelling to Italy on Sunday 20 February, on a ‘fact-finding’ mission. The aim is to find out what the process and requirements are for travelling to Italy safely and what requirements are while there and I will be there for 5 weeks.

COVID booster

One of the hoops to jump through in preparation for a trip to Italy under the current guidelines, is to have had a COVID booster shot. As my first shots were done over 6 months ago (I had the Moderna 2 part vaccine), I was able to get my booster 2 months ago. Be sure to get your booster shot in good time or check whether you need a booster at all. Requirements are changing almost on a daily basis, so it is better to be prepared. Should you need to research further, here is a link to the CDC. As of today (February 18, 2022) they are recommending NOT to travel to Italy and have a Level 4 Travel Health Notice which is the highest level. Follow the link for more information on that.

COVID PCR test for traveling to Italy

Since I have already booked by flight and have a real reason to be in Italy at this time, I am required to take a PCR COVID test. Please follow the link to research CDC guidelines and be away that these guidelines are subject to change. Also, in our experience, although statements are made there regarding what you can expect at the point of departure, this may or may not be the case. I arranged to have a COVID PCR test 72 hours prior to travel. Enzo suggested that I go to a local clinic called Restore Health, which I did yesterday (Thursday). They offer a 2 – 3 day wait for results that you receive via a text message to your phone. As I sat there waiting for my test, it occurred to me that should it take the full 3 days for my results to come back, that would be Sunday afternoon. I fly on Sunday morning.

During the test, I was asking the nurse exactly how long it would take for my test to come back and that is when it became clear that I may have an issue:

  • I was taking the test at 3PM on Thursday. However, the tests leave the building everyday at 2PM. That means that my test would go to Quest Laboratories with a whole bunch of others from around the county, at around 2PM tomorrow (Friday).
  • It may take another day for my test to be examined – Saturday.
  • The 2 – 3 day claim made by Restore Health? According to the nurse “there is no guarantee and it could take from 3 – 5 days”

Just so you know, I had already paid $144 for a test I expected to get the results for within 3 days and to be fair, I was already cutting it very fine.

As a side note, according to the CDC, for traveling INTO the USA:

If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States.

Be aware, that the country you intend to travel to outside of the USA (in this case, Italy), will have their own guidelines. Be sure to check it out by following the ling above.

PCR testing with CVS

So, since my trip to Restore Health left me somewhat anxious about getting my results in good time, I went straight from Restore Health and headed home to do some research. I found that I could get results between 1 and 2 days from CVS. I filled out all the necessary forms online using what they call the MinuteClinic and got an appointment at 4:30PM that same day (another $139 but hey, I should have done this yesterday!). Be sure to follow the link for CVS to find out more, unless of course you have your own preferred way. Just be sure to do a PCR test in good time. I am currently waiting for my results … very anxiously!

The whole process with CVS is so simple. Once you have signed up online, turn up at the drive-thru at your allotted time with your confirmation number, ID and wearing a mask. You are given a testing kit which you administer yourself and takes all of 1 minute. You pop the kit into a receiving box, wipe the box over with some sanitizer cloth provided and simply drive away.

COVID PCR test for travelling to Italy – summary

Be sure to do all the research you need to be prepared as it changes daily. For traveling to Italy, you will need to have been vaccinated and had a booster, although this may depend on the type of vaccine you received and when. You will need to get a PCR test and we recommend doing this through the CVS Minute Clinic.

I will be trying to keep you up-to-date as I travel to Italy and will be reporting back with my findings as I go through the process both for travelling to Italy and for traveling back to the USA, plus everything else in between.