Updated: 4 days ago
PCR COVID testing for air travel: everything you need to know about the procedure before you fly.
Entry rules to Ukraine
Ukraine allows entry into the country for both its citizens and foreigners and stateless persons. Foreigners must have medical insurance with them, which covers treatment and hospitalization, including COVID-19. (The insurance coverage for Covid treatment only includes State Hospitals, though there are six private clinics - three in Kyiv, two - in the Odesa region, and one in the Kyiv region providing covid treatment at a cost and not covered by insurance policies, as declared on December 7, by Deputy Minister of Health, Chief Sanitary Doctor of Ukraine Viktor Lyashko.
Everyone arriving in Ukraine from countries of the green zone should not go through quarantine. If a person arrives from a country in the red zone, he must go through 14 days of self-isolation and use the "Dii Vdoma" track & tracing app.
To end self-isolation, a traveller can undergo a PCR test for coronavirus in Ukraine or provide the result of such an analysis done no more than 48 hours before entering Ukraine. The condition for the termination of quarantine is a negative test result, which confirms that the person is not sick.
The quarantine rules are the same for all visitors and depend on the zone in which the country the traveller is from is located.
Do I need a COVID test to fly?
This would depend on several factors; testing requirements vary across the globe, depending on the destination, country of departure, along with the status of the travellers themselves. More and more countries require travellers—particularly tourists or non-residents— to submit a negative RT-PCR test report from an accredited or approved laboratory conducted within a specific time window. Failure to produce this document may result in them getting denied boarding, denied entry, and/or facing mandatory institutional quarantine once they’ve arrived at their destinations.
For example, some countries with more stringent entry regulations, such as the UAE, even mandate travellers to submit a pre-departure negative RT-PCR test report followed by another test at the airport upon arrival.
As rules regarding testing requirements and important travel documents could change at a moment’s notice these days, it’s best to keep up with the news and contact the country’s embassy.
Why should travellers be required to get tested before departure?
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), in a press release, stated that border restrictions, along with quarantine requirements upon arrival, had sunk travel demand, especially in Europe. Many travellers remain hesitant or unable to make plans due to limited border reopening, quarantine measures, and shifting COVID-19 policies. In its public survey, IATA found that 83% of travellers will not fly if they have to quarantine on arrival.
Further, the organization concluded that mandatory pre-departure testing for all passengers is key to restoring global air travel connectivity. This will give governments the confidence to open borders fully and possibly eliminate the need to quarantine arrivals. This claim is backed by strong public opinion from its survey; 84% agreed that testing should be required of all travellers, and 65% agreed that quarantine is not necessary if a person tests negative for COVID-19.
In an attempt to call for standardization of testing around the world, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released a COVID-19 testing guideline for governments to incorporate into the travel process.
What happens if the passenger tests positive?
If testing is conducted before travel or at the point of departure with the passenger testing positive, the passenger will not travel as planned. IATA points out that some airlines are offering flexible policies in this situation.
If testing is mandated on arrival and a passenger tests positive, then the passenger should be treated according to the destination country's requirements. Airlines should not be required to repatriate the passenger(s) or given financial penalties for this situation.
Quarantine and travel information for foreigners
Foreign citizens from "red" countries must enter 14-days self-isolation if not carrying a negative PCR test at arrival. Upon arrival at Ukrainian international airports, PCR tests are available. The test result is within 24 hours, simultaneously emailed to your inbox and reported to the Public Health Center that consequently notify the App "Act at Home" installed in your phone before crossing the border.
The Ministry of Health advises that the PCR document showing the results should:
Be in English (translation into Ukrainian is preferable, if possible - not obligatory)
State the sample collection time and the time when results were received
Specifically mention the test type – PCR – polymerase chain reaction
Show the full name, date of birth, and passport number for the traveller
Include the name, address, and contact details of the lab performing the test
Clearly state the result – COVID-19 NO or COVID-19 YES
COVID-19 tests are widely available at the expense of the individual.
The average cost of a PCR test is 60 USD.
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