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Just wanted to clarify this with anyone that may know. This is what the COE process states as for the PCR test. Does this mean test results RETURNED with 72 hours of departure or TAKEN within 72 hours? The place near me says results are returned with 24 to 72 hours so I need to take the test 4 days before departure to be safe.

 

  • 1.3 Medical certificate with a laboratory result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected, using RT-PCR test, issued within 72 hours before departure (in case of connecting flights, before embarkation from initial port).
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1 minute ago, treetops said:

Test report issued.

 

The sample itself can be taken outwith that time, although I'd be avoiding a lab that could take up to 72 hours if another option was available.

I didn't know that 72 hours was considered slow. Is 24 hours more typical? I see lots of options so I need to call around.

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2 minutes ago, NorthernRyland said:

I didn't know that 72 hours was considered slow. Is 24 hours more typical? I see lots of options so I need to call around.

I would say so.  I've had ones approx 30 hours in Thailand and 24 in UK (x4).  Also quoted 24 hours in Spain, but I went for the antigen test instead.

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The swab must be taken within 72 hours of your flight if your airline requires - its not only what's stated on the COE application.

 

I've just been through exactly the same problem for my wife who will be returning to Thailand in October on KLM.  The Thai Embassy website states that some airlines will not accept the home PCR test kits that a lot of providers are offering and that you should contact the airline to enquire.  After a lot of mucking about I got to speak to a staff member at KLM's Health Services in Holland.  She confirmed that they would only accept swabs both taken and tested in an accredited facility and that they work on the time the swab is taken - the 72 hours starts then.  So if you had a swab taken at 5.30pm on Monday, it would expire at 5.30pm on Thursday.  Other airlines may have a different line - better to check with them.

 

Be very careful who you book with - we had a nightmare booking my wife's Day 2 and Day 8 tests when she came to the UK - look at reviews such as Trustpilot.

 

We are using this company when she flies back to Thailand - £80 and good reviews. Results back by 10pm the next day.

 

https://www.expresstest.co.uk/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwqKuKBhCxARIsACf4XuF6qJ1C2qYDcKKQQ6fSeN3VY542Ba_R2s6tin3Oggi19cKABD84hvQaAlb2EALw_wcB

Edited by KhaoYai
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3 minutes ago, KhaoYai said:

I've just been through exactly the same problem for my wife who will be returning to Thailand in October on KLM.  The Thai Embassy website states that some airlines will not accept the home PCR test kits that a lot of providers are offering and that you should contact the airline to enquire.  After a lot of mucking about I got to speak to a staff member at KLM's Health Services.  She confirmed that they would only accept swabs both taken and tested in an accredited facility and that they work on the time the swab is taken - the 72 hours starts then.  So if you had a swab taken at 5.30pm on Monday, it would expire at 5.30pm on Thursday.  Other airlines may have a different line - better to check with them.

 

Thanks that's useful. I see some test kits are accepted but they said they want a "medical certificate". Places I'm seeing often say 24 to 72 to hours which means it's always going to be cutting it extremely close if the test has to be taken within 72 hours. It's almost an unreasonable request given how close it is.

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9 hours ago, NorthernRyland said:

Thanks that's useful. I see some test kits are accepted but they said they want a "medical certificate". Places I'm seeing often say 24 to 72 to hours which means it's always going to be cutting it extremely close if the test has to be taken within 72 hours. It's almost an unreasonable request given how close it is.

Whether the swab is taken at home or not - a Fit-to-Fly certificate will be given if you buy the appropriate package.  What you don't want to do is arrive at check-in and find your airline won't accept yours because the swab was taken at home.

 

Flying can be a bit of a minefield at the moment, you need to check the requirements of both the destination country AND the airline.

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You do not meed a Fit to Fly certificate. Only PCR result.

 

When I did this (in US) just to be on the safe side I got 1 test 72 hours betore departure and then a second one the following day at a diffetent place as a back up and my Plan C was if necessary to go to the airport 4 hours early and get a "while you wait" PCR test there--most large international airports offer this but very costly whereas the other tests were free. 

 

This way I knew I had all bases covered. As it happened I got the results of both tests in time so no need to pay for airport test.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Sheryl said:

You do not meed a Fit to Fly certificate. Only PCR result.

Sheryl, the Fit-to-Fly the testing companies are offering is not the same as was previously required for COE which was issued by a doctor.  Just about all the testing companies I've seen in the UK mention 'Fit-to-Fly' in their package. 

 

I think the one they are doing now is possibly just a written confirmation of the test result rather than a scientific printout (which will no doubt be included).  I don't know but that's what's on offer at the moment.  One of the companies I looked at was charging more for a standard PCR test than they were for one with a Fit-to-Fly certificate.

Edited by KhaoYai
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This is a great place in Bangkok you can try. Same day service.

 

https://www.medconsultasia.com/covidtesting

 

Don't take any chances with labs that cannot give you a guarantee turnaround. I went there myself and fully satisfied with no problems at all, quick and easy. 

 

Take note, on my return to Thailand, I got an email from Singapore Airlines that they require testing now within 48 hrs of flight.

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16 hours ago, NorthernRyland said:

I didn't know that 72 hours was considered slow. Is 24 hours more typical? I see lots of options so I need to call around.

.

Got mine in San Diego at US Labs. No waitingas they do not overbook.

 

Get there by 10am, results were back at 4pm same day.

 

$125, includes tons of documents with stamps and watermarks, seals, and accreditations. 

 

Some have said the 72 hours is from test to departure; others from results to arrival, etc.

 

Don't count on that. Get to a place where they do it in one day, if you want to be safe.

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21 minutes ago, HeijoshinCool said:

.

Got mine in San Diego at US Labs. No waitingas they do not overbook.

 

Get there by 10am, results were back at 4pm same day.

 

$125, includes tons of documents with stamps and watermarks, seals, and accreditations. 

 

Some have said the 72 hours is from test to departure; others from results to arrival, etc.

 

Don't count on that. Get to a place where they do it in one day, if you want to be safe.

I had 1 at CVS pharmacy in US, free of charge, results came in not much more than 24 houyrs later. hours later.

 

Second one at an urgent care clinic that had contract with the city to do free COVID testing, those results also came in about 32 hours later.

 

So both free. But neither guaranteed results that fast hence reason for doing both and having airport test ($250) as last resort back up.

 

Pretty easy to get a free COVID test on demand in US these days.

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Yeah, thanks, but you know with all the investment and planning I don't want to stand even a small chance of a problem.

 

This will be the second trip I've used them.

 

Plus they barely enter the schnoz 😉

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11 hours ago, Sheryl said:

When I did this (in US) just to be on the safe side I got 1 test 72 hours betore departure and then a second one the following day at a diffetent place as a back up and my Plan C was if necessary to go to the airport 4 hours early and get a "while you wait" PCR test there--most large international airports offer this but very costly whereas the other tests were free. 

 

I'm getting one test a mere 69 hours before as this was the earliest I could possibly get it while still getting the results back (I hope) within 48 hours. If the test takes 72 hours to return how do they expect you to make your flight?? It makes no sense. Many testing places say 24-72 hour return times.

 

International airports have PCR tests? That's a good backup because it's entirely possible to not get your test back in time and miss your entire flight. It's crazy they think tourists are going to go through this stress.

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5 hours ago, HeijoshinCool said:

Don't count on that. Get to a place where they do it in one day, if you want to be safe.

I can not find anyplace that even guarantees within 48 hours! I'm in Boulder Colorado right now. All places are 24-72 hours.

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Ok more time spent looking for tests.... I found a place near the airport that has 30 minute results for $250.  If my other test fails to arrive in time I'll have to leave another few hours earlier and get this test before my flight. Already I'm in for $400 of tests including the 3 in Thailand so another $250 would certainly hurt. 🙂

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Walgreen's does a free rapid Covid test. They may be charging your insurance behind the scene for this. Just had one done in Florida. It took about 2 hours to get the results. Booking is done online. They have 3 days of tests "open" for booking. Appointments at each pharmacy are spaced 15 minutes apart, so they do disappear quite quickly. When a new day is "opened" for appointments, it is added at midnight. I waited up so I could get the time I wanted.

 

United was pushing their own providers to get the test. Those were about $250. I prefer free.

 

This was not used to fly to Thailand, so please verify that the results are sufficient for the Thai requirements.

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1 minute ago, sandyf said:

A "rapid" covid test is an antigen test, not a PCR test.

It was not an antigen test. i was flying to Canada and they do not accept antigen tests.

 

I received the second test below. It uses Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAATs). Sufficient for most destinations. Again, check the Thai requirements.

 

From the Walgreens site:

  1. Diagnostic Lab Test (PCR): The RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel Test - (NAAT) is used to detect genetic material (mRNA) of the coronavirus and will be sent to a laboratory for testing. Most turnaround times in 72 hours or less (varies based on location).
  2. Rapid Diagnostic Test (ID NOW): The Rapid Point-of-Care (POC) - NAAT (ID NOW) test also detects genetic material (mRNA) of the virus. The test is performed on-site, and results are available within 24 hours.
  3. Rapid Antigen Test (BinaxNOW): Rapid Point-of-Care (POC) Test - Antigen (BinaxNOW) is an antigen test that detects the presence of a specific viral antigen. The test is performed on-site, and results are available within one hour. These tests measure current viral infection and help determine if an individual is actively infected with COVID-19 and can spread it to others. A follow-up diagnostic test may be required to confirm a positive result.
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2 hours ago, NorthernRyland said:

I can not find anyplace that even guarantees within 48 hours! I'm in Boulder Colorado right now. All places are 24-72 hours.

.

 

Wow. Try looking up "labs for medical testing, " and maybe call US Labs in San Diego. They might know of someone in your area.

 

I take it you are flying out of Denver? 

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7 hours ago, NorthernRyland said:

I'm getting one test a mere 69 hours before as this was the earliest I could possibly get it while still getting the results back (I hope) within 48 hours. If the test takes 72 hours to return how do they expect you to make your flight?? It makes no sense. Many testing places say 24-72 hour return times.

 

International airports have PCR tests? That's a good backup because it's entirely possible to not get your test back in time and miss your entire flight. It's crazy they think tourists are going to go through this stress.

Yes most do, at least in the US - look it up. They are costly but it does provide an emergency plan in case your results are late.

 

It has been said the Thai 72 hour requirement refers to the date & time the results are issued but I didn't want to put that to the test (and some airlines may have tighter requirements).

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7 hours ago, NorthernRyland said:

I can not find anyplace that even guarantees within 48 hours! I'm in Boulder Colorado right now. All places are 24-72 hours.

So were the places I used but in fact the results came in in about 30 hours -- despite it being a holiday weekend. You will probably be OK but as a contingency plan  https://www.xprescheck.com/

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I'll just hijack the post a bit, quick question.  

 

We are coming back to Thailand via the Phuket Sandbox after Easter, and I'm just beginning to look at the process - sounds like fun.  

 

Two embassy websites I have looked at have the steps involved, with the RT-PCR test step 3, apply for the CoE step 9.  This cannot be right?  If the RT-PCR test must be within 72 hours of departure that leaves SFA time for the CoE application / approval.    

 

Surely they mean the list to be point form, not in any particular order.  

 

Cheers.

 

https://sydney.thaiembassy.org/en/content/requirements-under-phuket-sandbox?cate=5d847bbc15e39c21b8005f2c

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Just now, moojar said:

I'll just hijack the post a bit, quick question.  

 

We are coming back to Thailand via the Phuket Sandbox after Easter, and I'm just beginning to look at the process - sounds like fun.  

 

Two embassy websites I have looked at have the steps involved, with the RT-PCR test step 3, apply for the CoE step 9.  This cannot be right?  If the RT-PCR test must be within 72 hours of departure that leaves SFA time for the CoE application / approval.    

 

Surely they mean the list to be point form, not in any particular order.  

 

Cheers.

 

https://sydney.thaiembassy.org/en/content/requirements-under-phuket-sandbox?cate=5d847bbc15e39c21b8005f2c

You do not need the COVID test to get the COE. You will need it before you can check in for your flight. It is the last step in the process.

 

Did you really mean to say after Easter?  Quite likely things will have changed substantially by then. If if you meant to say Christmas, still good chance requirements will be different by then.

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59 minutes ago, Sheryl said:

You do not need the COVID test to get the COE. You will need it before you can check in for your flight. It is the last step in the process.

 

Did you really mean to say after Easter?  Quite likely things will have changed substantially by then. If if you meant to say Christmas, still good chance requirements will be different by then.

Thank you, that makes more sense.   

 

Yes, after Easter.  I know things are likely to change, I just hope in the right direction!  

 

I have been putting off retiring, because Covid.  So we bought flight tickets, locked in my retirement date.  If there is no longer a requirement to "sandbox" in Phuket we shall have a week at a quiet beach anyway, sort of ease into retirement.  🙂  

 

Thanks again.  

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On 9/23/2021 at 11:26 PM, KhaoYai said:

We are using this company when she flies back to Thailand - £80 and good reviews. Results back by 10pm the next day.

I used them a couple of weeks ago.  The test status on their website did not update by the 10 o'clock deadline and I had to contact them.  Quick reply even at 10:00pm on a Sunday night and a link to the results supplied.  There was a View and download results button that may have been active but I had fixed on looking at the status message so not sure if they'd been available all the time.

 

What nationality is your wife?

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On 9/25/2021 at 4:23 AM, Sheryl said:

It has been said the Thai 72 hour requirement refers to the date & time the results are issued but I didn't want to put that to the test (and some airlines may have tighter requirements).

I've read that too - the problem with all of this is that we have to comply with the destination country's requirements AND the airline's and they are not neccesarily the same, as I found out with KLM.

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4 hours ago, KhaoYai said:

Thanks - she's Thai.

KLM website says no test required if she's in transit, and Thais don't require test results to enter Thailand IIRC, but maybe safest to get one anyway.

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3 hours ago, treetops said:

KLM website says no test required if she's in transit, and Thais don't require test results to enter Thailand IIRC, but maybe safest to get one anyway.

Not in transit - UK to Thailand.  KLM require a test but I will check with them again.  However, you may well be correct about the country's requirements.  I remember quite clearly that when my wife went home last year she needed a Fit-to Fly but no test.  Then from April this year the Fit-toFly was dropped and I remember reading specific instruction that a PCR test was then required for Thais. However, the RTE in London say its up to the airline except for Thais entering via the Phuket Sandbox where both Thais and foreigners need a pre=departure PCR.

Edited by KhaoYai
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