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PCR vs Rapid Test - which one is acceptable?

LD3S
New Arrival

I'm thrilled to say that we are traveling to Mexico in March!  We have never tested positive for the coronavirus.  I contacted our resort in Riviera Maya and they told us that the resort will be offering testing for their guests at the resort.  We can schedule our tests at check-in to make sure we get them 3 days prior to departure to return to the US.  The labs at the resort are offering 2 kinds of tests: a PCR for $110 per person and a Rapid for $25 per person.  The CDC says that reentering the US will require: "A viral test means a viral detection test for current infection (i.e., a nucleic acid amplification test or a viral antigen test)."  So can we get the $25 rapid test?  Will that be acceptable to board a Southwest flight back to the US?  Please advise and thank you.

6 REPLIES 6

Re: PCR vs Rapid Test - which one is acceptable?

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Re: PCR vs Rapid Test - which one is acceptable?

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

I just saw you already replied there. I guess it didn't answer your question, sorry. 

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: PCR vs Rapid Test - which one is acceptable?

gsking
Rising Star

You'd have to check with them.   In my experience,  most rapid tests aren't accepted.   But if they have them for Hawaii,  they should have some that are accepted for return to USA since I think they follow the same rules. 

Re: PCR vs Rapid Test - which one is acceptable?

NicoleAshley
Employee
Employee
Solution

Hey @LD3S , I would just get further details from the concierge of your hotel about what exactly their rapid test is. If it's a nucleic acid amplification test or a viral antigen test, you're good to go.  

 

Nicole
Community Manager

Re: PCR vs Rapid Test - which one is acceptable?

LD3S
New Arrival

Thank you Nicole, I appreciate your response!  The concierge described the $25 Rapid test as an antigen test so I will clarify with them.  The price difference is significant so I would rather spend that money on more margaritas and guacamole!  

Re: PCR vs Rapid Test - which one is acceptable?

NicoleAshley
Employee
Employee

@LD3S wrote:

Thank you Nicole, I appreciate your response!  The concierge described the $25 Rapid test as an antigen test so I will clarify with them.  The price difference is significant so I would rather spend that money on more margaritas and guacamole!  


@LD3S I completely understand and am so excited you're going! I was just there and made the same choice (for the same reasons), and the antigen test got us home perfectly fine. But I did definitely confirm twice with the concierge just to be sure. 

 

Pro-tip for your return: We did not expect that the airport security in Mexico required their own COVID-19 attestation form before they'd let anyone in the security line. They pointed to tables off to the side with QR codes that would allow you to create a log in and fill out the form on your smart phone, but the airport WiFi was poor, and our logins returned with errors. Save yourself the trouble of being stopped at security and ask a Southwest Employee at the ticket counter for a security form so you can roll on through 🙂

Nicole
Community Manager