As the pandemic continues unabated, people who are travelling are increasingly being asked to produce a negative test for Coronavirus prior to departure. This is an attempt to prevent or slow down the spread of the virus.
For people who travel, this adds an additional thing to remember to do, as well as extra costs. This needs to be done though, with fines and prison being the alternatives.
Negative Tests For Ireland and USA
The Irish government had mandated a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure for people travelling from South Africa and the United Kingdom. This has now been extended to all arrivals from Saturday, 16 January 2021.
Travel to and from the Republic of Ireland has been decimated by the pandemic. Passenger numbers are down 77% and 79% at Dublin and Cork for 2020, and the new tests may make people think twice about planning to head abroad.
The United States is also requiring a negative result for all travellers from 26 January 2021. It is the same as Ireland, requiring the test within 72 hours of departure.
Canada is another country that requires this and there are others too. Tests results will likely be checked by airlines upon check-in and again by officials on arrival, so it makes sense to get it done.
Factoring in the additional cost of a negative test will be the new normal for the foreseeable future. In Australia, the test is A$120 (€80, US$100, £73) for people who are travelling. All other tests for citizens are free in the country, of course.
Considering how countries are currently being inundated by new cases, it was perhaps inevitable that these new requirements arrived. More countries will probably follow suit. I will be interested to see how long they remain and how it impacts passenger numbers.
What do you think of these PCR tests prior to travel? Will they make you more or less likely to fly? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Dipartimento Protezione Civile on Flickr via Wikimedia Commons.