Is Coronavirus Testing For Travel Becoming Shady?

Is Coronavirus Testing For Travel Becoming Shady?

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Many countries require a negative coronavirus test for entry. For example, you need a negative test within three days of travel to fly to the United States, regardless of whether or not you’re vaccinated. There are many other destinations with similar policies.

I’m not trying to debate the merit of this. Personally I see both sides:

  • On the one hand, it can’t hurt to get tested (well, minus hurting your wallet), especially with case numbers as high as they are in many places
  • On the other hand, I don’t understand blanket testing requirements; for example, I could maybe see merit to testing an unvaccinated person traveling from the UK to the US, but does it make sense to test a vaccinated person coming from New Zealand to the US?

All of that is a tangent to the main point that I wanted to address. As you’d expect, the need for prompt testing for travel has created a huge new industry, which many entrepreneurs in the medical(ish) field have taken advantage of.

That being said, I can’t help but feel like increasingly some of these testing services don’t seem very legitimate. I’m not talking about major testing centers at airports, or those done through pharmacies or other reputable businesses, but rather the “doctors” that will come to you to test you, whether you’re at a hotel, or elsewhere.

Just to give a few examples, both from firsthand experience and what I’ve heard from close friends:

  • I recently got tested for travel, and at no point was my ID checked, but rather I was asked to write down my name; that’s not a huge issue, but I could have just as easily had someone else take the test for me
  • The time before that, I got tested at my hotel; after the swab was placed up my nostril, it wasn’t placed in the typical tube, but rather the “doctor” tossed it straight in his briefcase (which is kind of disgusting on many levels)
  • Another time, the guy performing the test talked to me about how he has been performing tests all day every day for a year, and has never had anyone test positive, which sure makes you wonder (and this wasn’t in a country with low case numbers)…
  • A friend recently got a PCR test taken at his hotel (not a rapid antigen), and 20 minutes later he got his letter confirming he was negative; I’m not saying that’s totally impossible, but unless the offsite lab was in the basement of the hotel…
  • Another friend told me that he recently got a rapid antigen test, and the person conducting the test claimed he was negative a moment after the swab was taken out of his nose, before being put into that little testing device

Maybe these situations are rare and I’ve just had some outlier experiences, but I can’t help but feel like the industry is getting kind of shady. The reality is that these testing companies make money based on how many people they test, and not based on the actual results. As long as they put something on official letterhead stating you’re negative, that’s all that matters. And if they don’t get caught and they’re just in it for money, well…

Bottom line

A huge new industry has been created as a result of coronavirus. While testing in general is great, the for-profit travel testing industry has become pretty big. With most countries (fortunately) not stipulating that you have to use a specific lab, you have an endless number of places to get tested.

Based on some recent experiences, I can say with certainty that “best practices” aren’t always being used. With any industry of this size there are always going to be some bad apples, including the practice of faking test results. What I’m curious about is how widespread this is.

Has anyone else had a “suspicious” coronavirus test situation for travel? Am I the only one who wonders if at least some of these companies are actually analyzing the results?

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  1. John S

    Is there ANYTHING that isn’t shady in the era of COVID???

  2. Sandra

    If they're going to require some kind of testing or documentation, they should just test everyone regardless of vaccination status. That's because we now know vaccinated people are getting and spreading COVID just like unvaccinated people are. And that's what we're trying to stop, right? Maybe they should require tests right at the airport.

  3. Paul O.

    Yep, my wife and I just returned from Santorini and it was basically an assembly line of tourists in the small "clinic" to get swabbed and cough up 30 Euros (cash only) for our negative antigen test. They were basically rubber stamping the clinic stationary and the doctor had zero doubt about our results. LOL. We are both vaccinated, btw.

  4. Franklin

    Yes. I'm not sure we need to logic this one out? Plenty of governments mandate which labs are authorized. Hell, the middle eastern airlines won't even accept tests from any but their own selected labs in many countries because, yes, the industry is very shady. This has been an obvious fact for well over a year.

  5. GaryA

    Tanzania

    On a recent trip to JRO airport in Tanzania I was required to get a rapid antigen test at the airport before proceeding through customs. The test cost US $25, was administered with results in less than 5 minutes. The 3 of us traveling were all negative. Not sure if anyone on our flight tested positive, I doubt it. Once they saw we had a negative PCR test from the US the outcome was...

    Tanzania

    On a recent trip to JRO airport in Tanzania I was required to get a rapid antigen test at the airport before proceeding through customs. The test cost US $25, was administered with results in less than 5 minutes. The 3 of us traveling were all negative. Not sure if anyone on our flight tested positive, I doubt it. Once they saw we had a negative PCR test from the US the outcome was going to be negative.

    The lines and cost of the fake tests was a great introduction to Tanzania.

  6. Rob

    "The reality is that these testing companies make money based on how many people they test, and not based on the actual results."

    If too many travelers test positive, travel could be further restricted and killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

  7. Alan

    Testing requirements have made very little difference since it is possible to have the virus and not be positive for a day or a few days.

  8. TheDutchPerson

    As someone who just got tested in a garage of someone’s home, I can confirm that Coronavirus testing has indeed become shady.

  9. Morgan

    The only answer to solve this problem is for governments to regulate it

  10. Ray

    “ On the other hand, I don’t understand blanket testing requirements; for example, I could maybe see merit to testing an unvaccinated person traveling from the UK to the US, but does it make sense to test a vaccinated person coming from New Zealand to the US?”

    Answer: yes it does. Just because you have been vaccinated doesn’t mean you have a force field surrounding you and you can’t become infected. You just have less chance of hospitalization or death.

    1. Ben Schlappig

      @ Ray -- No one suggested vaccinated people have a "force field." My point was that people coming from New Zealand are less likely to have coronavirus (based on infection rates in the country), and virtually all studies suggest that vaccinated people are also less likely to get coronavirus (they can still get it, but it's rarer, and it's even rarer for them to be hospitalized). Unless a country is going for zero-COVID, this is...

      @ Ray -- No one suggested vaccinated people have a "force field." My point was that people coming from New Zealand are less likely to have coronavirus (based on infection rates in the country), and virtually all studies suggest that vaccinated people are also less likely to get coronavirus (they can still get it, but it's rarer, and it's even rarer for them to be hospitalized). Unless a country is going for zero-COVID, this is about managing relative risk more than anything else.

    2. magice

      I think the point (of the government) is that regulation should be simple *and* fair.

      It's much *much* simpler to just require everyone from everywhere to test. I know I know, if you are vaccinated person from New Zealand, your chance is pretty low. But we are talking about government regulation here. Why do you want to complicate matters by trying to create exemption? Look at UK and their rainbow color. Most of the colors...

      I think the point (of the government) is that regulation should be simple *and* fair.

      It's much *much* simpler to just require everyone from everywhere to test. I know I know, if you are vaccinated person from New Zealand, your chance is pretty low. But we are talking about government regulation here. Why do you want to complicate matters by trying to create exemption? Look at UK and their rainbow color. Most of the colors seem to be assigned based on political objectives, not actual risks. Fairer, more stable, simpler just to require everyone everywhere.

  11. Sore nose

    Just got tested yesterday in Zurich so I can come home and the system here is a confusing mess.
    The hotel hotel recommended local options that were expensive.
    I decided to get it done at the airport just to be sure I got the correct test. There are three different companies with wildly varying prices doing testing. Their advice on which tests were valid was totally different from the CDC.
    I have...

    Just got tested yesterday in Zurich so I can come home and the system here is a confusing mess.
    The hotel hotel recommended local options that were expensive.
    I decided to get it done at the airport just to be sure I got the correct test. There are three different companies with wildly varying prices doing testing. Their advice on which tests were valid was totally different from the CDC.
    I have been tested innumerable times participating in studies and vaccine trials as well as Hawaii trips. This one hurt. That swab was so far up my nose and so aggressive I got a blood dripped out. I never get a bloody nose.
    But the results came on time and look official.

  12. iamhere

    I disagree with your comment about not testing vaccinated people. You're forgetting the purpose of vaccinations. The purpose is to lower the chance of having a serious complication like hospital or death. The idea is not that you will not get the disease. It's just to lower the side effects of the disease. So, with this in mind even if you are vaccinated you still could get the virus.

    1. Tim

      And thus, spread the virus. So continue wearing masks, even if you're vaccinated!

  13. JavaPunk

    After Hotel testing in Playa del Carmen - I noticed my results had conflicting dates etc but it said negative so used it - no problems - the testing seems very shady

  14. Nickn

    Leaving for Hawaii on Tuesday with my husband and three kids. My husband and I both are vaccinated but our kids are not. Booked testing at AFC (State of Hawaii Certified Center). Side note…We did all of our covid testing at AFC prior to being vaccinated and paid $150 per test. Now they charge $250 per test for the Hawaii travel program. That’s $750 for three kids who tested themselves in the car. My bad...

    Leaving for Hawaii on Tuesday with my husband and three kids. My husband and I both are vaccinated but our kids are not. Booked testing at AFC (State of Hawaii Certified Center). Side note…We did all of our covid testing at AFC prior to being vaccinated and paid $150 per test. Now they charge $250 per test for the Hawaii travel program. That’s $750 for three kids who tested themselves in the car. My bad for not price checking our options but this was our trusted center for testing. Total scam.

  15. Andy

    Within a year and a half a huge testing industry has been created. Initially, governments (and all of us) were grateful for private (or semi-
    public) sector investments in order to provide the necessary testing capacity. But now, this industry is doing anything to stay in business, some with rather ruthless practices.

    For example in Switzerland, government pays CHF 54 (USD 60) to do an antigen tests (not PCR) free for tourists, including the...

    Within a year and a half a huge testing industry has been created. Initially, governments (and all of us) were grateful for private (or semi-
    public) sector investments in order to provide the necessary testing capacity. But now, this industry is doing anything to stay in business, some with rather ruthless practices.

    For example in Switzerland, government pays CHF 54 (USD 60) to do an antigen tests (not PCR) free for tourists, including the certificate in English plus one national language. But all (!) airport testing centers refuse to charge the government, but require the travelers to pay CHF 80 (USD 90) on the spot, arguing that the certificate has to be in English plus a national language. You don’t see any difference? Nobody does, except the providers …

  16. Elizabeth S.

    On a recent trip to Croatia our hotel had contracted with a service that would come to the hotel to perform a Rapid Antigen test. This was very convenient. We signed up online the evening before the desired test date and within 15 minutes of registering (before our noses were even swabbed) we were emailed our negative results. A follow up email was then sent saying that the results were sent by mistake and that...

    On a recent trip to Croatia our hotel had contracted with a service that would come to the hotel to perform a Rapid Antigen test. This was very convenient. We signed up online the evening before the desired test date and within 15 minutes of registering (before our noses were even swabbed) we were emailed our negative results. A follow up email was then sent saying that the results were sent by mistake and that our test would be conducted the next day. We wondered if this could be some sort of tacit way to provide "negative" results. IF our actual test results would have been positive what would stop us from using the "negative" results. At the airport the results were glanced at quickly and we were on our way.

  17. TM

    Becoming shady? It's always been shady. Within the sphere of testing, obtaining a negative test result is more important than anything else for those that need to travel. If you had the choice to go to a tester that ran the actual tests and had a real chance of testing positive versus going to one that almost always tests negative, most people will go with the ones that test negative.

    The unfortunate reality is that...

    Becoming shady? It's always been shady. Within the sphere of testing, obtaining a negative test result is more important than anything else for those that need to travel. If you had the choice to go to a tester that ran the actual tests and had a real chance of testing positive versus going to one that almost always tests negative, most people will go with the ones that test negative.

    The unfortunate reality is that all this security theatre and the real consequences of testing positive has created an industry of fake tests to generate negative test results to avoid those consequences. Those that gain the reputation of generating negative test results can charge a hefty premium and everyone in the chain gets a cut of it. I'm sure hotels are in it as well, since they don't want a positive test result either. It's bad for business.

    1. DenB

      Except in Taiwan and Korea, where testing is ubiquitous and Public Health policies have been rational since the pandemic's outset.

  18. BarbinGA

    Like many travel fans, I am eager to be able to complete the plans that were postponed. Like many fully vaccinated people, I am following the guidance of the CDC, which includes the concept that those of us who are vaccinated don't need masks except when social distancing is not possible. The inclination of many recently has been to scoff at some of the testing requirements for travel.

    I can tell you all that even...

    Like many travel fans, I am eager to be able to complete the plans that were postponed. Like many fully vaccinated people, I am following the guidance of the CDC, which includes the concept that those of us who are vaccinated don't need masks except when social distancing is not possible. The inclination of many recently has been to scoff at some of the testing requirements for travel.

    I can tell you all that even though both my husband and I are fully vaxed, we had a shock this week to find that what we thought might be bronchitis with a nagging cough is indeed Covid-19. Only DH tested positive, and there is no fever, just the cough. Hopefully, this will be a mild case and that he can recover quickly, but I will gladly support the rules that require testing even for the fully vaxed.

    Yes, there may be some profiteers out there, but please everyone continue the vigilance and encourage friends and family to get vaxed and still be careful.
    Barb

  19. Ryan

    As someone who is fully vaccinated, I just want to process to be easy and painless. Whatever happens to my test behind the scenes concerns me not, so long as I get the negative test result I need.

    1. DenB

      +1

      Fewer and fewer infected people are becoming seriously ill. But public opinion wants "strong action at the border" so the theatre continues for now. Governments need to make up their minds: "vax makes you safe", or "still gotta test you all the time". The former would encourage more to get the jab.

  20. hghglobal

    True! Testing has become a huge money-making scheme and a rip-off for travelers! As an American citizen or permanent resident fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine after 14 days, there is no medical necessity for a test to enter the United States via air! The CDC should eliminate this requirement. It's medically not important and a major hassle for passengers returning to the United States.

  21. Santastico

    So you need a negative Covid test to board a plane into the US BUT you also need to wear a mask even if you were vaccinated. Got it!!!!

    1. Steven L.

      At this point you have to be willfully misunderstanding the situation to not get why masks are still important.

      1. Vaccination is supposed to reduce the odds—but not to 0–of you from dying and/or becoming seriously ill.

      2. The Delta variant is more contagious because it causes you to shed a lot more virus particles than before, even if you don’t end up becoming seriously ill.

      3. You can be not displaying any symptoms—asymptomatic—and still...

      At this point you have to be willfully misunderstanding the situation to not get why masks are still important.

      1. Vaccination is supposed to reduce the odds—but not to 0–of you from dying and/or becoming seriously ill.

      2. The Delta variant is more contagious because it causes you to shed a lot more virus particles than before, even if you don’t end up becoming seriously ill.

      3. You can be not displaying any symptoms—asymptomatic—and still be contagious.

      4. The purpose of wearing a mask is to reduce the amount of virus particles that you spread around if you become infected. Protecting YOU from catching it is and always has been secondary.

  22. TheDutchPerson

    After the Dutch government made tests mandatory to enter clubs, the testing system became overwhelmed. Some test locations would email negative test results to anyone who called them saying they had a test taken but had not received their result yet.

  23. Mary

    "Becoming shady"? It has been shady all along - behaviors and the unreliable tests as well.

  24. dander

    We had ours done in Paris, I think we needed an ID, it was done outside of a pharmacy and we got the results in about 30 minutes. This was done at no charge.

  25. chbartel

    not surprised at all.
    I have two more examples for you. A friend of mines Grandma wasn't feeling well(this was maybe 5 months ago). She went to get tested here in the Indianapolis, IN area. She had to schedule in advance. The line was so long, she went home before even being tested. Two weeks later got a letter stating she was covid positive from that test(that she never had taken). I had another...

    not surprised at all.
    I have two more examples for you. A friend of mines Grandma wasn't feeling well(this was maybe 5 months ago). She went to get tested here in the Indianapolis, IN area. She had to schedule in advance. The line was so long, she went home before even being tested. Two weeks later got a letter stating she was covid positive from that test(that she never had taken). I had another friend have the same thing happen. All of this is a joke.
    Until our county opened up 100% a month or so ago, we were required to have our temperature checked at the gym each day. This has been going on for about a year. I asked the lady at front desk how many people had a high temperature over the past year of her doing these checks for 8 hours a day. NONE, she responded, she said it was a joke...

  26. Tim

    I'm 100% all for blanket testing, including the unmasked vaccinated folks spreading the Delta variant while thinking they are the immortal ones.

    1. Pete

      Now that’s a deep thought. And what would you do with the positive folks, quarantine them as well? Treat them like unvaccinated people?
      Oh wait you sound like an anti-vaxxer. Now I see your point.

    2. Tim

      I would absolutely quarantine anyone, vaccinated or not, if they are positive for coronavirus. To do otherwise would just be promoting the spread of the virus.

      And nah, just not a fan of these Trump-supporting vaccinated folks running around without masks infecting everyone.

  27. NYGuy24

    Of course there are going to be sketchy testing companies and there are going to be certain individuals who seek out sketchy testing companies. Really what should be done is vaccine passports in a national database so that the vaccination status of a person can be instantly verified. You can't trust anti-vaxxers to do the right thing. The alternative is that for purposes of crossing borders the unvaccinated should have to go to designated locations...

    Of course there are going to be sketchy testing companies and there are going to be certain individuals who seek out sketchy testing companies. Really what should be done is vaccine passports in a national database so that the vaccination status of a person can be instantly verified. You can't trust anti-vaxxers to do the right thing. The alternative is that for purposes of crossing borders the unvaccinated should have to go to designated locations that the government knows is reliable.

    1. David

      That only addresses half the issues. Many countries are not nearly at the level of vaccination where herd immunity is achieved. Not even the US is at that level (though not because you guys lack supplies). Proving that you are vaccinated doesn't guarantee you are not infected, or that you won't spread COVID to the local community.

  28. Juan

    You were Right on point..

    https://www.cdc.gov/csels/dls/locs/2021/07-21-2021-lab-alert-Changes_CDC_RT-PCR_SARS-CoV-2_Testing_1.html

  29. Milo

    If the goal is to prevent any carrier from entering a country, the only meaningful test is to swap every passenger immediately before they board. A 72-hour window provides plenty of opportunities for the tested to contract the virus after the test and before boarding.

    Sure, it is not practical to process that many tests in such a short window, which means testing before boarding isn't meaningful. It is just political theater to deter travel.

  30. Mike1977

    Lucky, or anyone, can you share any information about someone who did test positive overseas and what actually happened? I’m honestly just curious and also wondering if you could retest soon out of the quarantine period to go home before two weeks.

  31. Andy 11235

    I do feel like testing has become the new theater, now that temperature scans have been widely recognized as pointless. It's been an interesting contrast. We were just in Spain, where there were no further checks on vaccination or testing once in the country, but at the border things were pretty strict: PLC was read carefully, and we saw several people taken to "secondary" health inspection for testing. In Portugal, no one ever bothered checking...

    I do feel like testing has become the new theater, now that temperature scans have been widely recognized as pointless. It's been an interesting contrast. We were just in Spain, where there were no further checks on vaccination or testing once in the country, but at the border things were pretty strict: PLC was read carefully, and we saw several people taken to "secondary" health inspection for testing. In Portugal, no one ever bothered checking the PLC, and only the airline checked the test. In country, theoretically one must have a test for inside dining, but no one seems to understand the exact rules, and it would have been substantially cheaper and easier to use acrobat to make a pretty pdf with all the right info instead of actually getting tested.

  32. JBM

    I’m not surprised. It isn’t the first example and won’t be the last example of security theater.

  33. James S

    On the flip side, I got tested in Portugal to fly back to the US and they went full brain probe on both sides. And not fast either. This was at a medical lab though that does blood tests and stuff, although everyone was there for the rapid covid tests

  34. Kair

    On one side people are concerned that PCR tests are too senstive and generate too many false positive results...
    On the other side people are concerned that pre-travel tests generate too many false negatives...

    If we suspect legitimacy and accuracy of certain testing facilities, we should address that. For example, certain national/local governments have desgnated test facility that the travellers must use. That is one attempt to address it. Other govenments require tests on...

    On one side people are concerned that PCR tests are too senstive and generate too many false positive results...
    On the other side people are concerned that pre-travel tests generate too many false negatives...

    If we suspect legitimacy and accuracy of certain testing facilities, we should address that. For example, certain national/local governments have desgnated test facility that the travellers must use. That is one attempt to address it. Other govenments require tests on arrival, and I think it can help with detecting illegitimate testing facilities.

    By the way, I thought the the antigen test kits that they sell for traveller is a good solution for the return trips to the US. Only about $30 per test and you can do it in your room.

  35. Pete

    Not to necessarily give them the benefit of the doubt, but many of the PCR/NAAT tests (Abbott) can be thrown into a cartridge and run on a desktop machine with results within 15-20min. These would not be considered rapid antigen.

  36. DeePee

    As a frontline physician that travels into Hawaii quarterly to work, I can say unequivocally, "yes."
    Not going to go into the specifics publicly, but the entire testing apparatus is unreliable from top-to-bottom.
    What do you expect from a government-run program with zero accountability and constantly changing rules?

    1. David

      Not surprised.

      Test providers have every incentive to pass everyone off as negative (especially since they bear no liability for false negatives).
      Travelers have every incentive to find providers which give the most negatives (aka ones willing to falsify test results).
      And the government lacks the resource to even catch a tiny percentage of the bad apples.

    2. magice

      Ummmmmmmmmmmm. Why are these things "government-run"?

      The governments merely require the tests. They generally don't run the tests.

      This is like saying SAT is college-run tests. It's not. The colleges merely require it for admission.

    3. Franklin

      Seriously. Some of these people will eat moldy and then blame their diarrhea on the government.

  37. Paul

    While n Paris, we took advantage of the free government Covid testing offered at Cdg & Ory for passengers ticketed to travel within 72 hours. It was easy to procure an appointment and efficient.

    When printing the results at our hotel, the representative told us that we could've had the concierge make arrangements for a "doctor" to come to the hotels for the testing.

    Might've made the test result more predictable at an increased expense,...

    While n Paris, we took advantage of the free government Covid testing offered at Cdg & Ory for passengers ticketed to travel within 72 hours. It was easy to procure an appointment and efficient.

    When printing the results at our hotel, the representative told us that we could've had the concierge make arrangements for a "doctor" to come to the hotels for the testing.

    Might've made the test result more predictable at an increased expense, though, perhaps, not as valuable as a tool.

    1. Milo

      Valuable to whom?

      A more predictable test result is certainly more valuable to the traveler.

      For the public health department in the destination country, if they are serious about stopping the import of the virus, they have to quarantine every incoming passenger on arrival and test. So a test done by a third-party prior to boarding is just a CYA tool. They just need negative test results; they don't care how.

  38. EC2

    Innova Medical Group is recalling Antigen Rapid Qualitative Test.
    Per fda.gov

    “The FDA has identified this as a Class I recall, the most serious type of recall. Use of these devices may cause serious injuries or death.”

    1. INS Vikrant

      Recall Gavin Newsom while theyre at it.

  39. Greg

    Yes, if a lab gives out positive result news spreads among backpacker and travel groups and folks avoid it. Better to go to labs and doctors who can confirm a negative test no matter what. Otherwise there's always pdf editing not a huge issue.

  40. Omar

    I've always felt the only benefit of testing requirement is that it makes people who feel sick think twice about traveling, so that's probably keeping out a small percentage of sick people. Other than that it's pretty useless.

  41. Markj

    I have had the same thoughts and I am almost convinced that the least thing the travel covid testing industry wants to find is a positive case.

    I recently traveled from Bangkok to the USA. If the testing clinic got any biological material on the swab I would be amazed. Get them in...get them out...pass Go and collect $200. A great business!

  42. Never In Doubt

    The testing requirements exist mainly to deter travel through friction/hassle.

    Initially, they were a lot more friction, now, not so much given the availability.

    That they line the pockets of the providers (shady and not) is an unintended byproduct.

    1. JB

      I got one from a free state testing site in Atlanta in December which required seting up an appointment online with all of your information. When you get there, they didn't check my ID either. They only asked for our name and birthdate.

      I also got a test in Dallas around the same time. I needed a PCR test and results within 48 hours. Back then, there weren't any free options, and the only one...

      I got one from a free state testing site in Atlanta in December which required seting up an appointment online with all of your information. When you get there, they didn't check my ID either. They only asked for our name and birthdate.

      I also got a test in Dallas around the same time. I needed a PCR test and results within 48 hours. Back then, there weren't any free options, and the only one available on a Saturday in the Coppell area was $200 per person. It was a lab which started PCR testing for travellers. They got at least $1200-$1500 in the half hour we were there (and there was only one person on duty, they otherwise send the tests out to another lab).

      I know Qatar Airways requires tests from approved labs at certain originating destinations. I had to travel to Pakistan at the end of last year due to a family emergency. On my return, I had to get tested at one of the 4 approved labs in Islamabad. Otherwise, I've heard it's common in Pakistan for people to sell you fake tests and results.

    2. JB

      Sorry, didn't mean to have the above comment as a reply.

  43. Fenton

    I have also heard (in UK) the ‘I have been PCR testing every day since Feb and have never had a positive case’ line. It did make me wonder…

    1. magice

      To be fair, it's possible that it's just an availability bias. This can go like this: only travel-ready people contact this particular provider, travel-ready people tend to *not* feel sick (and vaccinated once that's available), not sick-feeling and likely vaccinated people tend to test negative.

      Now, it still sounds weird and unlikely as hell for this, but it's possible.

Featured Comments Load all 60 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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magice

Ummmmmmmmmmmm. Why are these things "government-run"? The governments merely require the tests. They generally don't run the tests. This is like saying SAT is college-run tests. It's not. The colleges merely require it for admission.

Steven L.

At this point you have to be willfully misunderstanding the situation to not get why masks are still important. 1. Vaccination is supposed to reduce the odds—but not to 0–of you from dying and/or becoming seriously ill. 2. The Delta variant is more contagious because it causes you to shed a lot more virus particles than before, even if you don’t end up becoming seriously ill. 3. You can be not displaying any symptoms—asymptomatic—and still be contagious. 4. The purpose of wearing a mask is to reduce the amount of virus particles that you spread around if you become infected. Protecting YOU from catching it is and always has been secondary.

DenB

Except in Taiwan and Korea, where testing is ubiquitous and Public Health policies have been rational since the pandemic's outset.

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