After a negative coronavirus test result is required to enter the United States, which was generated within 72 hours, travelers set off safe coronavirus tests abroad – Many choose to use faster, albeit less accurate, rapid tests. And most travelers likely do this with the assumption that their test will be negative, so they can fly home without any problems.

But what if this test is positive?

According to doctors, even if you have been careful during your trip, you should keep in mind that your test result might be positive. You will effectively be stranded overseas for days to weeks until you get a negative test result.

This ensures that you have a potential quarantine backup plan if you test positive for the quarantine Coronavirus abroad, and what experts say, you should think about rapid tests.

Officials say you may get stuck overseas

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Foreign Ministry officials said In recent weeks, those trying to board flights to the US without a negative test result have been denied boarding. That includes Americans who may be “stuck overseas” if they test positive, says Martin Cetron, the CDC’s global migration and quarantine director.

Those who test positive for the coronavirus overseas will not be allowed to return to the U.S. until they test negative within 72 hours of a secured commercial flight home. Testing and / or another flight may be difficult depending on the country they are in.

The State Department has also announced that it will not offer medical assistance to Americans who test positive or need a coronavirus test abroad due to the State Department’s “limited medical resources” outside of the country. That means Americans who are sick or stranded outside of the US shouldn’t rely on a nearby US embassy to help them. The State Department provides at most one directory of places to purchase a test Embassy website For the country a traveler visits.

Rapid tests are easier to find, but how accurate are they?

Given these logistical challenges and the tight 72-hour time window in which a test could be performed prior to departure, the United States is allowing rapid antigenic tests that are less accurate. Experts say that while rapid tests are the bigger problem false negatives returned from asymptomatic peopleSome rapid tests return a number of false positives to healthy individuals.

Shira Doron, an infectious disease doctor and epidemiologist at Tufts Medical Center Hospital in Boston, says new Tests at home in the United States, they’re more accurate than early iterations – but they’re still seeing a single-digit percentage of false positives.

“Even if you are talking about half a percent [resulting in false positives]Apply that to thousands of travelers a day, and that’s a lot of people, ”says Doron. “And there are rapid tests with even higher false-positive rates of around five percent. That’s a lot of people being kept out of the country every day, and for me it’s just ‘stay at home’. “

Even if you suspect your positive is false, you will be denied boarding and will have to be quarantined as usual.

The advantage of rapid antigen tests is primarily their speed. Rapid tests are “fast, cheaper and require far fewer resources than laboratory-based PCR tests, which take hours to process,” said Tony Lemmo, CEO of BioDot, a manufacturer of rapid test materials.

While accuracy varies between different brands of rapid tests, Lemmo says that false positives can occur and that positive rapid test results should be confirmed by a PCR test if there are no symptoms.

How to prepare for a positive result before starting your trip

Travel agents recommend people schedule a positive test before they leave by taking out liability insurance that covers the cost of 14 days of quarantine and / or additional testing.

Christine Sikes, executive vice president of travel agency service Direct Travel, recommends speaking with a travel insurer about which policies may be sufficient to cover costs associated with quarantine, meals, and potential medical expenses. Insurance costs for these plans depend on the age of the buyer, the destination, and the inclusions desired, Sikes says.

Travel agents also recommend travelers to select a hotel that covers some or all of the 14 day quarantine costs for guests who test positive. This can mean thousands of dollars just for hotel stays. The hotel and resort chain Karisma, for example, ensures that quarantine accommodation is available free At 17 of his accommodations for guests who test positive, “until a doctor certifies the travel authorization with a negative test result for a period of a maximum of 14 nights,” says a Karisma spokesman. The offer applies to all Karisma hotels in Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.

The free quarantine accommodation appears to be popular with resorts in Mexico, where other properties are included Marival Resorts and the Hotel Palmaia – House of Aia also offer free stays of up to 14 nights for all gifted guests. In all of these quarantine programs, guests are not permitted to use hotel facilities outside of their room.

Sikes calls the free quarantine stays for coronavirus-positive guests “the exception rather than the norm,” and she says guests should know their hotel’s offerings and policies before arriving. In most cases, hotels discount a percentage of a quarantine stay offer for on-site coronavirus testing for a fee – and PCR testing is more expensive. For example, Conrad Hotels by Hilton charges $ 65 for a quick coronavirus test and $ 185 for a PCR test.

“You can still travel safely. All you have to do is plan and know what the impact will be if you test positive, ”says Sikes. “Hopefully nobody does, but if they do they must have a plan.”

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