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What happens if you test positive abroad

What happens if you test positive abroad

 
Old Apr 26, 2022, 5:06 pm
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What happens if you test positive abroad

I scrolled through several pages of this forum but couldn't find an answer. Let's say I travel abroad, take a covid antigen test 1 day prior to my flight home to the US, and it turns up positive. Let's also say that I have no symptoms and never develop any, and that the country I'm in doesn't impose any of its own covid travel restrictions. Exactly when and under what conditions will I finally be allowed onto a flight home? I've read that you can continue to test positive for weeks without showing any symptoms. Would I be stuck abroad until finally testing negative? The CDC website is very unclear (at least to me) about what the requirements are under these circumstances.
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Old Apr 26, 2022, 5:42 pm
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I had found and took a screen shot to show my kids of what happened when this woman tested positive:

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Old Apr 26, 2022, 6:43 pm
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If you test positive abroad?

good luck
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Old Apr 26, 2022, 9:33 pm
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Five to ten days after the positive test one can obtain a recovery certificate (if symptom free) from a local doctor - each country is a bit different, some might allow a virtual Doctor visit. Having a backup plan on where to stay and who to contact just in case is what gave us some peace of mind.
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Old Apr 26, 2022, 9:56 pm
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It depends on the country. If your positive test result is reported to the local health authorities, you could be taken to a government quarantine center or local public hospital. Moreover, if you're asymptomatic, it's unlikely that medical evacuation insurance would pay for a flight that's not medically necessary.
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 1:48 am
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Originally Posted by snic
I scrolled through several pages of this forum but couldn't find an answer. Let's say I travel abroad, take a covid antigen test 1 day prior to my flight home to the US, and it turns up positive. Let's also say that I have no symptoms and never develop any, and that the country I'm in doesn't impose any of its own covid travel restrictions. Exactly when and under what conditions will I finally be allowed onto a flight home? I've read that you can continue to test positive for weeks without showing any symptoms. Would I be stuck abroad until finally testing negative? The CDC website is very unclear (at least to me) about what the requirements are under these circumstances.
Abroad is a rather large place, it will depend 100% on where and when.
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 3:10 am
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You can use a recovery certificate to travel to the US. The problem is that it is not easy to get in some countries, particularly those that have very light approach to covid.

Then there's of course a question of what local rules are in your destination. Some countries still require people to stay home (or at the hotel in this case) when they test positive. In Asia they may even lock you up in a facility.
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 4:43 am
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A friend vacationing in Italy tested positive the day before her flight home to the US on April 17. She is in a hotel. Was told she’d be retested after 7 days, and was still positive. She’s still there. Was asymptomatic.
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 5:53 am
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My daughter tested positive, on antigen/lateral flow tests, for two weeks.
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 6:47 am
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OP here. I should have been more clear: the country I'll be travelling to is Iceland, which has no covid restrictions at all. The Icelandic government recommends isolating if you test positive but does not require it. That's why I'm asking what the US government requires of passengers to board a flight back home. I know that the short answer is "a negative test" but I am asking about the situation in which you continue to test positive but are asymptomatic.

The CDC's general recommendations in cases in which you test positive are to isolate for 5 days and if you don't develop symptoms by then, you can stop isolating and wear a mask. They DON'T tell you to test again and stop isolating only if you get a negative result. Does something like that apply in any way to boarding a flight to return to the US? For example, could a doctor certify that you've been symptom-free for 5 (or some other threshold number) of days and therefore you've "recovered" from covid? The CDC's travel guidelines say that a covid recovery letter can substitute for a negative test (presumably this is because one can continue to test positive even after one has recovered and is no longer contagious). So, how long would one have to be symptom-free to get a doctor to write such a letter?

Originally Posted by altabello
Five to ten days after the positive test one can obtain a recovery certificate (if symptom free) from a local doctor - each country is a bit different, some might allow a virtual Doctor visit. Having a backup plan on where to stay and who to contact just in case is what gave us some peace of mind.
Right - so, the question is, does getting a recovery certificate require a negative test? Based on some of the other answers, there are people still stuck abroad with no symptoms for longer than 5 to 10 days.
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 7:06 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
It depends on the country. If your positive test result is reported to the local health authorities, you could be taken to a government quarantine center or local public hospital. Moreover, if you're asymptomatic, it's unlikely that medical evacuation insurance would pay for a flight that's not medically necessary.
I've taken two COVID tests in Switzerland (Aug. 2021 and April 2022--both negative). For Aug. 2021 it was at ZRH airport and they emailed me the results, for April 2022 it was at a test center near ZRH Oerlikon, they gave me the cert.; if I had tested positive how would they have found me, they did NOT know where I was staying.
Before doing the April test using one of the iHealth test kits (free from US gov't) I self tested and knew I was NEGATIVE, had I been (false(?)) positive, I'm not sure what've done (try a 2nd iHealth kit was an option.)
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 8:03 am
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Originally Posted by snic



Right - so, the question is, does getting a recovery certificate require a negative test? Based on some of the other answers, there are people still stuck abroad with no symptoms for longer than 5 to 10 days.
Answer: “No, at least not generally.”

The US doesn’t require that a recovery certificate be limited to only circumstances when a negative Covid-19 test result has followed an infection. I’ve seen people fly to the US with a recovery certificate despite the absence of any relatively recent negative Covid-19 test results for such travelers flying to the US. 14 days seems to fly more widely than even 5-10 days, but it depends on getting a doctor/health authority to issue the recovery certificate acceptable to the US and/or airlines flying the passengers toward/to the US.
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 8:16 am
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Originally Posted by Barrheadlass
A friend vacationing in Italy tested positive the day before her flight home to the US on April 17. She is in a hotel. Was told shed be retested after 7 days, and was still positive. Shes still there. Was asymptomatic.
Which is why I refuse to leave the country until this testing requirement is gone. Not worth the risk. Until that time, Florida will get our vacation $.
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by ksucats
Which is why I refuse to leave the country until this testing requirement is gone. Not worth the risk. Until that time, Florida will get our vacation $.
For $300, I bought travel insurance that would pay thousands of dollars towards the cost of remaining abroad for up to an extra week due to anyone in my party receiving a covid diagnosis (my reading is that as long as a doctor says you are ill and can't travel, the insurance will pay - and I am assuming that our US-based doctors, via telemedicine, will put in writing that based on the positive test result the patient should not travel). I can work from a hotel room for 7 days or even longer, so to me it's an acceptable risk.

(I do agree that the negative test requirement makes little sense - but I started this thread to get an answer to the practical questions, not address the moral/legal/common sense issues.)
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Old Apr 27, 2022, 8:40 am
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Originally Posted by ksucats
Which is why I refuse to leave the country until this testing requirement is gone. Not worth the risk. Until that time, Florida will get our vacation $.
I am a very frequent flyer back and forth between the US and the Old World and have not missed a single flight back to the US because of the US testing requirement. It helps that I have no hesitancy to use the best masks readily available to me and that I do take other measures to minimize my chance of getting infected just before or during a trip abroad. Ive had travel party members and others who got stuck abroad because of the testing requirement, but most of that is on them given their own behavior.
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