Skip to Content

PCR Testing for Travel this 2021- What You Need to Know

It is common knowledge to every one that the travel industry is one of the first and biggest industries to get affected because of Covid-19, both for local and international travel. Now that we are mid-year to a second year of the Pandemic, vaccines have started across the globe and the summer season has officially started in Europe. Slowly, travel restrictions are getting easier, more countries are opening, and we are very excited about the possibilities. 

COVID 19 Testing 

Currently, there are 2 Covid-19 tests being done to understand and find out if you have the Covid 19 virus. These are the Rapid Test or the Antigen and the PCR. What are the differences between these two tests?

Rapid Test Or Antigen Test

The Rapid test or Antigen test is the easiest one, which can give you results in as early as a few minutes. This can be done at home, in a doctor’s clinic, or in a hospital and usually uses a small kit that resembles a pregnancy test. If you have symptoms, or had an exposure, and just want personal information of the possibility of having the virus, this is the quickest test you can do. Currently, false negatives are considered rare, so if you test negative, you may be safe already. However, false positives can happen, so usually, you are advised to take a PCR once you get this result. 

The PCR

PCR Testing for Travel this 2021- What You Need to Know.

The PCR is the gold standard when it comes to understanding your exposure to the Covid 19 virus. Taken through a nose swab and / or a throat swab, this test can even detect if you have the virus even with the absence of symptoms, or if you had the virus in the past. If you’re traveling, this is the usual required Covid 19 test, in addition to other requirements set by the country / area you’re traveling to. 

Where can you travel right now?

When thinking about travel, usually you’ll need a negative PCR test as a main requirement for travel, although each country and territory have their own rules when it comes to this. There are usually additional requirements and quarantine rules. Personally, we love checking the Skyscanner live map which provides a lot of initial information across the globe on the relaxed and closed countries for travel. Helps a lot in our research for traveling this Covid-19 pandemic season. 

Now that vaccines have started around the world, a lot of the European countries are opening their borders for travel to start the tourism and to help economies and businesses thrive again. Where can you travel at the moment and what are the current restrictions and requirements? Check some of the links and lists below. 

Traveling in Europe 

16 countries have started using the EUDCC or the European Digital Covid Certificate to provide a system and to see what a person has when it comes to the Covid – are they negative from the virus, have they taken the vaccine yet, and more. More countries are going to start using this pass this July 2021. 

Currently countries in Europe that are easy to travel to are Italy, Spain, Greece, France and Germany. You can check a full and updated list here for open European countries for travel this 2021.

Traveling in the UK 

The test to release is one of the most important requirements when traveling in the UK at the moment. Here is the test to release explained fully and how you can get your test to release in the UK right now. 

If you’re from the UK or want to understand UK specific rules for travel, you can check this list too. 

Traveling in the US and South America 

Mexico stays as one of the most popular travel destinations this pandemic because they have kept their borders open the whole year. If you are from the US, here are the places you can travel to this year. 

Traveling in Asia 

Thailand and Singapore are leading the way when it comes to easing travel restrictions for tourism this year, and you can get an updated list here of where you can travel in Asia

All other travel destinations

While taking into consideration that these countries are constantly updated, you can check this for countries around the world you can travel to during pandemic Covid-19 or to go to Skyscanner live map! It has been one of the most useful resources for us. 

Final Thoughts 

While we are taking all the necessary precautions traveling this year, we are so excited with all these possibilities. I have personally been traveling to Spain and other countries with a van since last year and I’m hoping Rachel and I could travel or at least meet together soon. Wherever you are at the moment, we are hoping you and your loved ones are safe. Let us know what you are hoping for this pandemic season, and if you are thinking and planning of traveling this year. We definitely want to hear from you! 

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. Now based in the Philippines!