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Testing Requirements

Testing Types and Requirements

COVID-19 testing goes hand in hand with the documentation requirements, and we have some answers to the most commonly asked questions about testing. We recommend clients check the Sherpa website to ensure you are prepared, and always cross reference that information with local government sites or tourism boards.

1. What are the different types of COVID-19 tests, and which type do I need to travel?

a) There are three types of tests that may be required for travel:
--Rapid Test (also called LFT or Lateral Flow Test): Can detect the presence of COVID-19 in about 20 minutes. These are the least commonly accepted results because they so often yield false negatives. Most airlines and countries who request tests will ask for a PCR or Antibody test.
--PCR Test (Polymerase chain reaction): PCR Tests are sent away to laboratories to diagnose the presence of the COVID-19 virus. The results are highly accurate, and most service providers and destinations require this result or an Antibody test.
--Antibody or Serology Test: The antibody test does not diagnose active COVID-19 infection. What it does is determine whether or not a person has immunity to COVID-19. If a person has immunity, most service providers and destinations will welcome this type of test.
--Use the Sherpa website to see which type of test, if any, your airline or chosen destination requires before booking your trip, and always have your tests conducted by a trusted facility.

2. What is a Trusted Facility?

a) A Trusted Facility is a lab or clinic recognized by the local government for their accuracy and quality. On the Sherpa website, you can find information for acceptable trusted facilities along with the required testing timelines.

3. How long is a COVID-19 test valid?

a) For the purpose of travel, service providers and countries who require a negative COVID-19 test mandate that the test results must be no older than 3 days prior to your departure. The order uses a 3-day timeframe instead of 72 hours to provide more flexibility to the traveler. By using a 3-day window, test validity does not depend on the time of the flight or the time of day that the test was administered.

4. What happens if I miss my flight due to an expired test (or a delayed test result)?

a) If you miss your flight due to an expired test or a delay in receiving your test results your flight (and other services) will need to be rescheduled or postponed. This can come with any applicable change or cancellation fees imposed by the service providers. Remember, Tripmasters does not charge change or cancellation fees, but we must honor those of our vendor partners.

5. What if I test positive before departure or in transit during my vacation?

a) If you test positive before your departure, you will be denied services. Tripmasters will do our best to help reschedule (postpone) your current trip for when you have recovered.
b) If you test positive in transit or once you arrive at your destination, you will likely be required to quarantine. Airlines will not let you board and return home with a positive COVID-19 test. Quarantining could result in loss of other services as well as financial losses.
c) In both cases, Tripmasters will attempt to secure refunds or future credits, but we cannot guarantee our vendors will provide refunds. This is one reason we recommend only booking refundable services.