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US cuts window for air arrival clear coronavirus test but accepts antigen version

A fast rapid antigen Covid-19 test (File photograph)

The United States will require air arrivals to produce a clear coronavirus test result taken inside one day of travel from next Monday.

The decision came after it was reported this week that the move, sparked by the emergence of a new and potentially more virulent strain of the coronavirus, was under consideration by the US Centres for Disease Control.

Vaccinated travellers earlier had 72 hours to obtain an all-clear test.

The US authorities will accept antigen test results as well as PCR tests.

The CDC said the requirement applied to "all air travellers, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status“.

The move, which will apply to passengers aged two and older, was confirmed on the website of the US Consulate General in Bermuda.

Details on the CDC policy can be found here.

A health ministry spokeswoman promised there would be “a quick turnaround of antigen test result certification” from Sunday.

Tests for outbound travellers can be taken on a temporary basis at the Perot Post Office on Queen Street in Hamilton on Sunday.

Appointments must be made by phone at 444-2498.

Community test sites will provide tests for travellers to the US from Monday.

The ministry automatically provides an outbound test appointment for visitors 48 hours before their departure, but these have been moved to 24 hours before travel, with antigen tests.

Travellers have been notified of the change.

Residents planning to travel to the US should book appointments only between 10am and noon. Walk-ins are not permitted.

The spokeswoman said several private labs now offered antigen tests and travel certification.

Residents using the Government-run centres should specify travel as the reason for the test.

The MDL lab will update the test results in the online system and e-mail travel certificates.

Any PCR test sample identified for outbound travel will be prioritised by MDL.

The spokeswoman said the health ministry had been asked by GPs about the provision of antigen tests for travellers and would send out guidance to doctors.

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Published December 04, 2021 at 7:30 am (Updated December 04, 2021 at 7:30 am)

US cuts window for air arrival clear coronavirus test but accepts antigen version

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