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Covid testing/paperwork travails

braindoc

10+ Posts
In preparation for Friday’s arrival in Italy, we planned to have our COVID tests done Tuesday late afternoon on our way home from the office. Not easy scheduling. We started looking over the weekend. Most of the pharmacies did not have late afternoon openings. Finally, we found a Walgreen’s offering the new rapid molecular test (ID Now). We drove up at 4:30PM, did our swabs under observation, and drove home. We were told results would be emailed within 3 hours.

Less than an hour later my wife had an email with her result. Me? Nothing. Bu the time the three hours had passed, the pharmacy was closed and there was no phone number for the lab running the test. I wanted to do the paperwork and upload everything to United that night. So, I cracked open an Abbott BivaxNow kit, logged in, a proctor came on almost immediately, and I did a swab. I had the results in fifteen minutes and downloaded them.

The EU digital passenger locator forms took quite a while to complete. My wife did hers on an iPad. I could not verify my account on an iPad or a PC. As soon as I received the email to verify my ID and password, I clicked the link only to get a message that the link had expired. I tried several times. Finally, I had the bright idea to enter my information in my wife’s account. That worked. We printed out the forms and saved digital versions on our iPhone.

We uploaded the required documents to United (our first flight was United, Boston to Newark). The next morning, I checked our booking information on the United app. My wife had three nice green check marks next to the required uploads. I had two greens and one red - next to test results. The error message said I had submitted the wrong form of result. Now, United had instructions saying Italy required a negative molecular test, and then in smaller print molecular or antigen test. I started a chat with United to see if they wanted a molecular test only. While waiting, I remembered something about my results being password protected. I quickly opened my report, took a photo with my phone and uploaded the negative antigen result to United - all while chatting on the iPad. Seconds later I had a message that the document was accepted, and I had three green check marks.

Believe it or not, I really am not computer illiterate.

We went to the office on Wednesday. Early afternoon, Walgreens emailed results from my first test! No explanation why it took 19 hours longer than my wife’s. Fortunately, also negative.
 

Andrew

500+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
Before our recent U.S.-Italy trip, we had rapid antigen tests at CVS. I wondered why I hadn't gotten results when my wife had, and finally figured out that I needed to sign up for a CVS account rather than just wait for an email.

For the return, we had it done quickly at a pharmacy in Rome around the corner from where we were staying. They emailed the results, again delayed for me vs. my wife, but all was good.
 

Sharon J

100+ Posts
We made an Appt at our local Urgent Care Facility yesterday, (Sun). We arrived, they took a brief medical history, and swabbed. They told us to wait for ten minutes, and they would return. They returned in that time period and told us we were both negative. Easy, however, we were very nervous about the results. We did ask if they had seen many positive tests, and they replied many tested positive that day, even many who had been vaccinated. We were shocked.

For our last week in Italy, we are staying with Nico at Sant'Antonio. He has already reserved our testing in a town close by. A relief to have that taken care of. We are off tomorrow. First Venice, and then back to Nico's.
 

braindoc

10+ Posts
We purchased the BinaxNow 6-pack from eMed.com and anticipate doing our tests from the hotel room in Rome 2 or 3 nights before our departure.

@Sharon J: Just arrived in Bologna today after three days of delightful gluttony in Venice. Enjoy your visit!
 

CaWino

100+ Posts
Before our recent U.S.-Italy trip, we had rapid antigen tests at CVS. I wondered why I hadn't gotten results when my wife had, and finally figured out that I needed to sign up for a CVS account rather than just wait for an email.

For the return, we had it done quickly at a pharmacy in Rome around the corner from where we were staying. They emailed the results, again delayed for me vs. my wife, but all was good.
So do understand correctly that you just needed to show the authorities the email with the test result or was there more to it?
 

braindoc

10+ Posts
@CaWino: The United agent in Boston actually said something like - great, you printed out everything. She was pleased. The Lufthansa agent at the business lounge in Frankfurt did the required document check for us and also looked at the printed documents: test results, vaccination cards, and EU passenger locator forms. We did need to upload everything to United beforehand.

That is not to say that they would not have read the results from an email on your phone. Personally, I like the security of having the document in hand. Old school.
 

Andrew

500+ Posts
Contest 2019 Winner!
Our outbound was on American, Boston-Philadelphia-Rome. At Boston we showed our CDC cards, printouts of test results, and the EU PLF (passenger locator form). We had around four hours between flights at PHL, and just as they were ready to board they said connecting pax who hadn't gotten an orange sticker on their boarding pass needed to get their documents reviewed at the counter to get a sticker or mark: that made us miss boarding when our group was called.

Our return was on Delta, Rome-Boston non-stop. In advance of the flight, Delta sent an email saying we'd need tests and complete an online "attestation form" about our status with regard to vaccination and testing. There was a "Delta FlyReady" link to load our test results; it took time to confirm receipt, so I don't know if a person was reviewing them. Not having access to a printer in Rome, we just had the emailed test results on our phones. As we entered the check-in area, there were first "podiums" where they looked at our CDC cards; then it wasn't made clear that the desk after that was where they reviewed test results; we first went to the check-in counter and they sent us back to that desk where they looked at the results on our phones and put stickers on our passports.
 

braindoc

10+ Posts
Swiss instructed us to have the attestation form for reentry into the USA printed, not digital. Our hotel obliged - without charge. Swiss did not check this form in Rome or Zurich. Nobody asked for it in Boston.
 

PokeyMindy

100+ Posts
All great info from everyone....I'm happy that you all are either in Italy now, have just returned, or are leaving soon! I may go in December to Bologna and Florence but probably won't know until the middle of Nov.
If not, I am going to France (@European-Experiences Luberon trip) in May. Hopefully all the hoop jumping will be a bit easier but if not I'm sure I'll have everything printed (old school here too) and on my phone too!

Safe travels everyone! To and from your destinations :)

Mindy
 

Sharon J

100+ Posts
We just returned from our visit to Venice and Sant'Antonio, outside of Montepulciano. We had no trouble at all. We flew Delta, and had our Passports, Proof of the CDC white card as proof of Vaccination, and a negative Covid Test taken within 72 hours of our outbound flight and return. It is all a bit scary, especially when you know your return flight all hinges on a test a couple of days before you leave. We received the results in Italy by email early the following morning, and flew home the next day.

We are returning to Italy next May, and certainly hope things will be better.
 

NoSpin

100+ Posts
We are returning to Italy next May, and certainly hope things will be better.
I am hoping the same.

We're booked for a trip next August that takes us through Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Lichtenstein and Switzerland. I'm thinking we have to be aware of each country's entry requirements or we are in deep trouble.
 

LindaG

10+ Posts
For my trip to Italy in September, I printed everything, just in case. It was pretty easy at JFK and they just looked at the paperwork. I can't remember if they retained anything. I had a friend in Orvieto (my first stop) find and make an appointment for me at a pharmacy for a test the day after arrival. The pharmacist gave me a written, signed result plus I got an email. The results were available while I waited (10-15 minutes). I thought it might help to have a negative test if anyone was reluctant to accept my CDC card. I had no problems with that at museums and restaurants.

When I got my first test, I made my appointment for the test to return to the US as I was leaving from Orvieto. Again, I got a written result as well as an email. I did fill out the US attestation but no one looked at it or wanted it, on either side of the Atlantic. All in all pretty easy though the EU locator was a pain to fill out and I think I tried a few of times before it was right.

Interesting is that they don't check passports as often as in the recent past; it's all about Covid.
 

GailS

100+ Posts
I'm debating another week in Italy in December (use it or lose it vacation policy at work). I'm hoping that the mandates for either a green pass or negative test within the last 48 hours for workers doesn't mean that getting a test for returning to the U.S. will be a problem. I saw some initial reports of backups getting tests. I'd appreciate if anyone has any recent experiences in trying to arrange for a test sharing how long it took to get an appointment. I see that the emed.com's Abbott’s BinaxNOW that @braindoc recommended are now back in stock (had been out recently) which would be an option if it's hard to schedule a test there.
 

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