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Still no plans to travel out of country for me. Did book a flight to Calgary before year end and headed to Banff for the holidays. Wanted to maintain platinum status with WestJet and was just shy of hitting the milestone. Able to book using WJ$. Have an overnight. will also be able to retain status with Marriott for next year as well as we have a hotel stay the night before we fly home. Perhaps an international flight in February or later in the spring.
 

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None of my neighbour snowbirds have paid for a test in the US. Book test online, show up at drive through. Don’t leave your car. Swab yourself. test results usually within 48 hours.

Apparently NAAT test results can be had same day. Walgreens and CVS are favs.
I spent some time looking into this because I am seriously looking at some California travel. I also talked with an American friend who has travelled between countries a couple tiems. Here's what I learned.

It's true that Canadians can get free COVID testing at Walgreens and CVS. I don't know if it's in all states but based on the Walgreens & CVS web sites, it appears to be.

These tests need to be booked online, but availability can be limited. My friend (who's currently in the US) is about to return to Canada, and she was unable to find one of these free bookings. So she still ended up going to a private clinic, something like an Urgent Care, and paying for a PCR test.

The pharmacies do have these rather fast NAAT tests. At Walgreens it's called ID NOW. These are great, apparently quite fast.

However... not all locations support the NAAT tests. Where I'm looking at in California doesn't have NAAT. So I would have to book a PCR test at one of the pharmacies.

There are still tricky parts to this. The turnaround time on PCR tests is slower and is not guaranteed. Asking my friends and reading threads on the internet, I have heard time lines between 1 day and 5 days. So the test may or may not come back in time for your flight, meaning you can't fly.

IN SUMMARY: if there are NAAT tests where you're going (e.g. ID NOW @ Walgreens) then you're set. Get one of those before returning to Canada. However, they are not available in all cities. In that case you will need a PCR test, which might be around 1-2 days but in some cases could take longer. So if you are stuck using the PCR route, there is a risk you will not get it in time. Also keep in mind that timeslots may not always be available, even for NAAT, so as my friend encountered you might have to book a PCR test, or possibly go to a private clinic and pay money.
 

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The thing is Americans can enter without pcr test and stay up to 6 months. Logic remains missing from any Liberal covid decisions.
Enter Canada? I don't think so. From Canada.ca:

Who must take a pre-entry test
All travellers 5 years of age or older, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, must:
  • provide proof of a COVID-19 negative molecular test result taken within 72 hours of your scheduled flight, or arrival at a land border crossing to enter Canada OR
  • proof of a previous positive test result taken between 14 and 180 days.
 

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I just heard a story today of a couple of my ex coworkers. They went to Germany, fully vaccinated. They both caught covid and they were put into quarantine for 10 days (which I think means they had to extend their hotel and flight).

Luckily it sounds like a pretty mild case and they're doing well, probably thanks to the vaccine.

In any case, it's a real danger of travelling anywhere. If you catch covid, you will be quarantined and will have some big costs too. I'm still on the fence about travel.
 

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Has anyone tried these at-home test kits from Switch Health? I found this link through Air Canada.

They're advertising a deal for Aeroplan members, $80 for a 2-pack Rapid Antigen Test Kit. That doesn't seem too bad to me for $40 a test, DIY from home.

That's valid for flying into the US, right?

This is also much cheaper than any of the other antigen tests I've found in BC. All the other antigen tests are $100 to $150 in this province, but much cheaper in other provinces.
 

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Has anyone tried these at-home test kits from Switch Health? I found this link through Air Canada.

They're advertising a deal for Aeroplan members, $80 for a 2-pack Rapid Antigen Test Kit. That doesn't seem too bad to me for $40 a test, DIY from home.

That's valid for flying into the US, right?

This is also much cheaper than any of the other antigen tests I've found in BC. All the other antigen tests are $100 to $150 in this province, but much cheaper in other provinces.
James,
When my wife was looking into it, I believe she could have had a rapid test done at many pharmacies here in Ontario, for $40. That would get her into the USA. But to get back, she would need a PCR test. Those are the ones that cost ~$200 .

Apparently some pharmacies in the USA will do a PCR for no cost, if they think you are a resident!

My wife didn't go, and we have no plans to unless Covid infections get under control over winter.
 

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PCR tests for zero cost, PCR tests for $200. Alot of places are making a killing for what is probably a test that probably actually costs $5.00 or less to perform. Our PCR tests cost $91 each in Huatulco. Swabs taken Nov17 at 8am. Test submitted in Mexico City on Nov18 at 12:30 pm and negative result emailed at 8pm that night. The only glitch on returning home ( aside from a three hour delay leaving Mexico and a two and a half hour wait for luggage at YVR) was returning home to the interior after detouring through the US because of the highway closures. By the time we reached the border, it was 73 hours after the PCR test was done. We had to go inside for an interrogation and have the car searched before they let us through satisfied that our trip through the US was not a joyride taking advantage of the situation.
 

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When my wife was looking into it, I believe she could have had a rapid test done at many pharmacies here in Ontario, for $40. That would get her into the USA. But to get back, she would need a PCR test. Those are the ones that cost ~$200 .

Apparently some pharmacies in the USA will do a PCR for no cost, if they think you are a resident!
There are tests like that in Ontario and Alberta pharmacies for $40, but that's not the case in every province. Here in BC, there are no cheap tests at pharmacies.

Or if someone in BC finds one, can you share the info? Shoppers Drug Mart doesn't have them in BC, they only do very expensive tests.

It's true that the US has free PCR tests.
 

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Has anyone gone all inclusive to the Caribbean lately?

curious as to what the experience is like. Masks? Buffets? Capacities? Pool? Shows? Vax requirements for guests/employees?

We’re getting ready to start researching. These are some of my requirements:

1. PCR testing onsite and included
2. Ability to cancel at anytime before the trip (within reason)
3. Travel insurance remains available for up to $5million

anything else I should consider?
 

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Our all inclusive in Huatulco had PCR testing onsite but not included. Only the highest end hotel had it included, not our lowly Barcelo. 91 USD per person and the results were back in 36 hours.
Masks are required while walking around indoors and while getting served at buffet and bar, unless sitting down at table or sitting at a bar. not rigidly enforced but right thing to do. 18 days in two different resorts and we never saw an employees mouth so they are very good at keeping masked. Its the guests that are not so vigilant.
Capacity? No idea but if they could sell every room they would. Shows and buffets full, especially on the weekend of a Mexican National holiday.
The pools and shows were as normal, no restrictions.
Vaccine requirements? Well, we need them to fly anywhere.
I bought separate travel medicalinsurance though PBC with $10M covid coverage as my RBC credit card insurance provided none.
 

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Has anyone here failed a PCR test while outside the country, meaning they couldn't fly back to Canada and instead had to spend two more weeks in quarantine instead?

e.g. if you're in Mexico and the PCR test shows you're infected, forget about the flight... you need to book 2 more weeks of hotel. Just wondering if that's happened to anyone here.
 
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