PCR or NAT/NAAT Testing for return to Canada

OK since I don’t want to wade thru the craziness of the extant COVID thread and read 1000s of posts about every possible COVIDian thing…

As a Canadian, what are my PCR or NAT/NAAT testing options when staying at the Poly without a car and looking for that 72-hour pre-flight testing?

Tagging @mousematt since he just did this recently

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Sadly @mousematt is of no use. Flying from Orlando to the UK didn’t require a COVID test at all.


OK… step 1: fly to London.
Got it!




Excellent question. I will be needing to find an answer before my January trip.

As of today, looks like we can do an approved antigen or molecular test for the way down and need either a PCR, NAT or RT-LAMP test for the return to Canada.

I believe a couple of months ago some one mentioned that Walgreens may be an option for getting these tests. https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing . Here is what shows up on Walgreens…

Someone else mentioned yesterday that CVS was also an option.

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Good info!

But I notice this requirement:

  • Show your confirmation email, a valid state ID or driver’s license, and insurance card or voucher.

Makes me wonder if non-citizens can use this service

I believe that has to do with the “free” testing. Although I am not sure how they will respond, someone did mention that they just provided the address of their hotel when getting the test done. They mentioned that they did not even ask for a driver’s license.

It may require a quick call to the pharmacy to verify how it works for international travellers.

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Looks like rapid PCR available at the airport. Didn’t dig deeper for pricing.

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Lots of chatter on this one on Disboards in the Canada Forum. Many have used BeeperMD - they will come to you, but some have said they have not been reliable lately. It is free.

I went with the ID Now test at Walgreens as results were under an hour and I had a car. Used hotel address, it is free.

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Beeper MD and Walgreens Rapid ID Now tests are your best free options.

I will be using Air Canada’s Switch Health program. You can purchase a test ahead of time, pack it with you, and when you are ready take the test from your hotel room by video chatting with the nurse. Results are emailed very shortly after (within the hour). You don’t need to be flying Air Canada to use it.

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