THE STATE OF INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL: SEPTEMBER 2021

A major issue is testing before you travel.  With the number of tests taken in the US averaging over 1.5 million per week, it may take longer to get results back.

I recommend scheduling 2-3 tests before your trip: 3 and 2 days before the trip, and 1 day before your trip. Once you get your results back, you can cancel other tests.

You should schedule an appointment for your test as soon as the pharmacy allows (Walgreens calendar opens up only 3 days of appointments at a time, Walmart show’s availability 1 week at a time. Urgent Care providers in your community may take walk-ins.

In my experience, Urgent Care and Walgreens are turning results later than other providers. Local providers provide results as quickly as 1 hour. Walgreens will take anywhere from 20-30 hours, depending on the time of the day that your sample is collected.

Two kinds of tests are acceptable:

  1. Antigen/rapid test (valid for 48 hours from the moment sample is analyzed)
  2. PCR (valid for 72 hours from the time sample is analyzed).

Most US airports offer tests inside the terminals and get results in about 60 minutes.  But they are very expensive (upwards of $250 per test).  If not sure how to find testing center, check your airlines website as they have links to approved local providers

Germany

⁃ Immigration: CDC vaccination card and Germany Entry form must be presented with passport

⁃ Accommodation: CDC card may be required for check in (small and privately owned hotels typically do not have this requirement but major and international hotel chains do).

⁃ Food: CDC card or negative test may be required.  No such requirement for street food or carry out.  Varies by location, with northern states much more relaxed about that rule that southern states like Bavaria.

⁃ Public transportation: No checks but masks required.

⁃ Entertainment/ sightseeing: CDC card may be required. Tracing forms are collected.

Italy

⁃ Immigration: CDC card must be presented with passport

⁃ Accommodation: No health documents requested or checked.

⁃ Food: No checks of any kind

⁃ Public transportation: Nothing for local or regional transportation. For fast trains, CDC card or negative test required.

⁃ Entertainment/ sightseeing: CDC card may be required.

France

⁃ Immigration: CDC card and passport only.

⁃ Accommodation: No health documents requested or checked.

⁃ Food: Local Health Pass (valid for 3-7 days after negative test) is required. Some establishments accept CDC card.  Be prepared to move on to another eatery if turned down. Enforcement is inconsistent.

⁃ Public transportation: CDC card or negative test required on fast trains only.  Local or regional transportation requires a valid ticket only.

⁃ Entertainment/ sightseeing: Health Pass or CDC card may be required. Often, a verbal confirmation of being vaccinated is accepted for admission.

⁃ NOTE: Health Pass can be easily obtained from almost local any pharmacy after taking an antigen test (cost is 25 Euros).