Testing Before Traveling

COVID-19 Testing For Travel Requirements

Whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated, many airlines and countries may be requiring documentation of a negative test within 48-72 hours.  Below is some information to be aware of and what University Health Services can provide for these travel requirements

  • It can be challenging for travelers to get a test - and its result - within the required timeframe. 

  • Published turnaround times range greatly, from an hour to 5 days, and reality does not always match expectations.  

  • You will need to know what the requirements are and timing by checking with the airline or your destination. We cannot validate this for you.

UHS COVID testing documentation requests for students

 Please note:  UHS does not provide test documentation for travel purposes for faculty and staff, our Occupational Health team is not resourced to provide that service to employees.  Please seek this documentation from your health care provider or see below for other testing centers that offer testing for travel purposes.

For students, we can try and assist you with providing documentation for your travels.  However, we may not be the best or quickest solution for getting you what you need in a timely manner for your travels.  We have listed additional outside resources below that specialize in offering COVID testing for travel purposes. 

Turnaround times

We cannot promise a specific turnaround time on tests

  • Tests can take up to 72 hours to be completed.

  • Please allow 1 additional business day for confirmation of results with a letter stating CLIA license of lab and confirming PCR test.

  • Please allow 3 business days for validation of no testing for students with a history of COVID.

How to make a request

Students can request a copy of your negative COVID-19 test results and COVID test laboratory information for travel:

  • Students can send a secure message through eTang to the Advice Nurse at least one day after your sample has been collected. 
  • The advice nurse will do their best to share the complete results and an associated letter about testing/lab information with you within one business day of UHS receiving the results.
  • This can take up to 4 days after specimen collection. 

If you have a history of a positive COVID-19 test (and it is too soon to retest) and need clearance to travel:

  • Students can send a message through eTang to your Clinical Team (if you don’t know who that is, you can check your eTang profile)

Other things to know:

  • We provide mid turbinate COVID testing. If your travel requires a naso pharyngeal COVID test, you will need to get tested elsewhere.

  • All of our self swab tests are RT-PCR tests

  • It is a student's responsibility to figure out what they need and by when

  • We cannot provide this documentation to faculty and staff, please see your health care provider
  • We cannot change or alter the name listed in your health record (some countries are strict about it matching the passport name)

  • We cannot provide embedded stamps electronically. If this is something you need, you will need to get testing elsewhere for this letter. 

Outside COVID Testing for Travel Services

Off-campus options for testing are widely available. Please look for some local options that may be able to meet the travel requirements in the timeframe you need them.

https://carbonhealth.com/covid-testing

https://www.passporthealthusa.com/locations/ca/san-francisco/covid-19-testing/

https://norcalcovid19testing.com/locations/oakland-in-terminal

https://www.flysfo.com/covid-19-testing