After more than a year of COVID lockdown restrictions, vaccination progress in many countries has led to the reopening of international borders and the long awaited revival of the travel industry.
Travel is making a fast recovery both domestically and internationally, in hotel bookings, flight capacity and online searches as passengers are eager to make up for the past year of mandated isolation. Windy City Testing's flight approved COVID tests take the guesswork out of your travel plans, book at any of our LA locations below or schedule a concierge visit for one of our medical professionals to come to your home.
With effective containment measures in place globally, many countries are deemed safe for international travel by the CDC, particularly for vaccinated passengers. However, in order to be cautious in reopening, all passengers including those who are vaccinated may be required to show proof of a negative COVID test or other documentation to enter a foriegn country.
Common COVID Test Types for Flights & What They Mean
Molecular testing is a blanket term that includes many more specific test types under it such as NAAT, rt-LAMP and rt-PCR. Many airlines will require a molecular test for passengers, which is simply a method of amplifying viral RNA using a molecular diagnostic assay to detect the COVID-19 virus. Molecular testing may also be referred to as:
Viral Testing NAAT (Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing)
rt-PCR (Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction)
rt-LAMP (Reverse Transcriptase Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification)
NAAT tests stand for Nucleic Acid Amplification and is a type of molecular COVID test often acceptable for travel. These tests detect the virus’s genetic material in samples most often collected via nasal or oral swab. By making copies of the genetic material, these tests are able to detect very small amounts of viral load and are considered highly accurate. NAAT tests are offered at Windy City Testing in a rapid or PCR option.
rt-PCR is a type of NAAT test, and the most commonly used test term when it comes to travel. RT-PCR stands for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Samples are most commonly taken via nasal or oral swab and are sent out to a lab for processing. This test type is considered the ‘gold standard’ of COVID testing with a high level of accuracy.
rt-LAMP is a type of NAAT test, and used most commonly for rapid molecular testing. This testing uses loop mediated isothermal amplification and heat to amplify DNA. Samples are most commonly taken via nasal or oral swab and processed either on-site or in a laboratory. This type of testing is highly accurate but much faster than rt-PCR testing. It is accepted worldwide for travel.