Challenges encountered during my very first post pandemic trip to the US
来源: Bob Mok
I recently took a flight out of Canada to the United States. It was my first trip since the pandemic. This allowed me to experience “travelling after the pandemic” and compare the actual conditions against the anticipated scenarios outlined in my article 17 months ago, Click here: www.chinesenewsgroup.com/news/669019
As travelling is opening up again, many conditions are imposed on the travellers. Before I can travel to the United States, I was required to provide “negative” results for COVID 19 antigen test taken within 72 hours of my departure. Antigen test is currently acceptable for entry to the USA, Italy and UK only. COVID 19 testing brings in new logistics that I never have to deal with before – taking the test is not as big a problem when compared to securing the test results. While there are many different tests applicable to visiting different countries, many cannot guarantee results within 48 hours of taking the tests.

如果愿意付高价,你可在机场和有些诊所测试,并在在一小时内拿到结果。否则,你就要冒险到那些不保证在特定时间里拿到结果,但收费较低的诊所去测试。有一个连锁药店打广告,以不到 50 元的价格在48小时内(不保证)拿到测试结果。我们没敢冒这个险。我们在一家提供一小时出结果的诊所做了测试,每人花了 150 元。
At the airports and with specific clinics charging outrageous prices, one can get the results within an hour. Otherwise you are taking chances in exchange for using other facilities charging a lower fee. A certain drug store chain advertised test results within 48 hours (not guaranteed) for less than $50 but we did not want to take that chance. We paid $150 each for our tests at a special testing clinic that provides one hour results.
It is necessary to be vaccinated properly within at least two doses of qualified vaccines as well so I have to make sure that my vaccination certificate is ready along with my COVID 19 test showing negative results.
结束美国旅行回加拿大的路上,我还要做更多的额外工作!我要在我的手机上下载一个名为“Arrive Can”的应用程序。然后,除了证明我有疫苗证书和新冠测试为阴性外,我必须回答“Arrive Can”中的问题后才能返回加拿大。在进入加拿大前72小时,我得向“Arrive Can”上传我的疫苗接种证书,回答有关新冠方面的问题,并确认,一旦入境后需要隔离,隔离的地点在哪。
On my way back to Canada, I have to do more than that! There is now a piece of software application named “Arrive Can” that has to be downloaded and installed on my cell phone. I have to then provide answers to this application in order to be allowed back into Canada. This is on top of the vaccination proof and COVID 19 test showing negative results. 72 hours prior to entering Canada, the above application requires that I upload my vaccination certificates, answer the COVID 19 pre-screen questions, and identify potential living quarters in the event of a quarantine.

Canada also requires that a PCR test (not an antigent test) be performed in order for admission to the country. At this point, I went and researched the differences between all the available COVID 19 tests. I will share them with the readers below:
快速抗原测试(有时称为快速诊断测试 - RDT)检测病毒蛋白(称为抗原)。它用拭子从鼻子和/或喉咙里采样。这种测试比PCR便宜,并且会更快地提供结果,尽管它们通常不太准确。当社区中传播的病毒较多时,以及在个体传染性最强的时期对个体进行采样时,这种测试的效果最佳。如果一个人没有接近感染高峰——但仍然具有传染性——检测结果可能呈阴性。根据抗原测试的质量和测试者,假阴性可能高达20%。
Rapid antigen tests (sometimes known as a rapid diagnostic test – RDT) detect viral proteins (known as antigens). Samples are collected from the nose and/or throat with a swab. These tests are cheaper than PCR and will offer results more quickly, although they are generally less accurate. These tests perform best when there is more virus circulating in the community and when sampled from an individual during the time they are most infectious. If a person is not near peak infection – but is still contagious – the tests may come back negative. Depending on the quality of the antigen test and the test takers, false negatives could be as high as 20%.
PCR testing (also known as polymerase chain reaction testing), is a type of test that tells us if someone currently has COVID-19. It is performed in the lab to help us find even tiny amounts of the virus. It does this by amplifying a virus’ genetic material to a level where it can be detected. The test requires a swab sample from a person collected in the same way as the antigen test.

新冠测试中最大的不确定性是从测试到拿到结果所需的时间。由于大多数测试诊所仅在上午 9 点至下午 4 点之间工作,因此旅客选择起飞时间在中午之前为好。测试样本通常在当天下班前收集,在夜里完成测试,第二天早上出结果。
The biggest uncertainty in COVID 19 testing is the time it takes from the test until the results are available. Since most testing facilities are only operational between 9am and 4pm, it is most advantageous for the traveller to fly before noon. Test samples are typically collected at the end of the day and testing is done overnight with results available the following morning.
If your flight departs after 4pm or when a testing clinic closes, you stand to lose the time frame between your departure time and the time when the clinic opens for testing the next morning. In other words, you do not get the full 72 hours to test and secure your test results and maintain a safe margin in case the results and/or the flight is delayed.

There are more convenient ways to get this done – testing at the airports and getting results guaranteed within one hour is one expensive alternative to clinical testing ($225 US per test at one USA airport where I departed from). My experience tells me that more planning is required when travelling out of the country these days. The COVID 19 testing and the results are necessary for our travelling in order to minimize the spreading of the coronavirus. This necessary inconvenience will likely stay with us in the foreseeable future.




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