Currently, all international travelers returning to the US will need to show a negative COVID-19 test. There are some new take-home test kits that can simplify the test while traveling. With these test kits, you no longer need to find a local clinic in your travel destination to take the test.

Last updated December 3, 2021

Currently, all international travelers returning to the US will need to show a negative COVID-19 test.  Starting December 6th, the test must be taken 1 day before boarding your departure flight to the US.  With the latest updates from the CDC, travelers are now permitted to self-administer a rapid antigen test under the real-time supervision of a telehealth service.  This helps travelers avoid the need to find a test center abroad. 

This guide takes you through how Abbott's BINAXNow COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test works.  Please note that the BINAXNow COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test (see image below) is the only home testing kit currently approved for international travelers returning to the U.S. Before you travel, you should verify that your specific airline accepts the results of this test. 

Step 1: Order the Take Home Tests

The tests can be ordered through eMed (Abbott's partner) and comes in a pack of 6 test kits.  The set of 6 test kits costs $150 and can be delivered to most locations in the US within 48 hrs of ordering. The 6 kits are meant for 3 travelers. Each person has a spare, just in case one of the test results comes back as "inconclusive" and a retest is needed. 

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Tests come in a pack of 6, good for 3 travelers

Step 2: Register on the NAVICA app

Download the NAVICA app on your phone and create an account.  You will need an account for each person to be tested. The results will be delivered to the app after testing and attached to the specific profile.  Kids under the age of 18, can be linked to their parents' account on NAVICA, however, you still have to set up a profile for each child to be tested. 

Step 3: Schedule the testing

When you are ready to do the testing in destination, go to the website and login with your NAVICA account.  Once you answer some simple questions, the service then connects you with a real-time guide who will walk you through how to set up the test and the sample collections process. 

Note: There can be a long wait time to be connected with a technician. In our recent test, the wait was 1 hr and 15 minutes, however, more recent reports show the wait times have improved dramatically in recent days.  Another option to reduce wait time is to switch to "Spanish" language, the wait time is significantly shorter there, and the technicians can still communicate in English to guide you through your test.  

Contents of the test kit

The sample collecting process takes just a couple of minutes, after which you will need to wait for 15 minutes for the test to do its work.  After the 15-minute wait, a new guide from eMed will come online and review your test results.  The test results are then sent to your NAVICA account, and will also be sent to you as an email.  

A guide will help you interpret the results

Step 4: Provide results to the airline at check-in

You will need to share the test results with the airlines at check-in time.  Most airlines will take the results summary screen provided by the NAVICA app as the final test results.  However, some airlines might require physical copies of the results, so it's good to double-check with your airline for specific requirements. 

Test results shown on the NAVICA app
Written by Yenyi Fu, updated Dec 29, 2021