Travel in the Time of the Pandemic
Do you know what I’m most afraid of related to my PCT thru-hike attempt? Getting a positive COVID19 test just before my flight to the US. Re-organizing everything in few hours scares me more than the actual disease.
Vaccines + Test = Good to Go
As a non-American hiker I have to obey the rules set by CDC to enter the United States. Or even to board a flight heading there. Now as I’m writing this, I’m required to have a full set of vaccinations to be allowed to board. Luckily the shots approved in Europe are accepted in the US as well.
In addition to the vaccinations, I have to have a negative COVID19 test or documentation of recovery from COVID19. There are several tests that are accepted, but it must be taken no earlier than on the day before your flight.
For me there is available either the PCR test or the antigen test. The PCR can take almost a day, where the antigen test result comes in few hours. Because getting the test result on the way to the airport would be way too intimidating, I’m choosing the antigen test.
Nose Picking for My Nerves
Especially what it comes to the antigen test, I’ve heard that it might give a positive result long after the recovery. Because there is no way for me to know if I’ve had an unsymptomatic COVID19 it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Hence I went to the local grocery store and got a pile of home tests – about 3€ each. The plan is to do one test in a week for roughly a month before I’ll start my hike. This way I might be able to catch an underlying infection and get the recovery papers before my flight.
Of course there is still the possibility that I get the disease just a few days before I leave and end up in quarantine after the official antigen test. But at least I’m doing my best to avoid that scenario.
Disclaimer: Always check the most recent travel restrictions and test requirements directly from the CDC.
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