Episode 37: COVID-19 Testing Required for U.S. Entry – My Experience

I was in Cabo, Mexico, when I heard about the new executive order that requires passengers to have a negative COVID-19 test to enter the US, so I decided to get back to the US rather than risk getting stuck in Mexico.

With 2021 coming around, travelers were excited to get back to traveling, and the prospect of getting stuck in another country because of a COVID-19 test put those plans on hold for many people. Being on vacation and having to find a lab and arrange transportation to and from that lab just adds an extra layer of stress to that vacation.

So, I heard of a resort in Mexico that opened recently, Planet Hollywood, and they offer Covid tests on-site, and I decided to try this out so that I could find out about this process.

Here are the things I learnt:

[05:10] Schedule your test as soon as you arrive at your resort.

Your COVID-19 test cannot be taken more than 72 hours before your departure.

I only stayed for 4 days, so I scheduled my Covid test when I arrived at the resort. To do this, they needed my passport to verify my identity and schedule the test.

Get that test scheduled first thing when you get there so that you can get to your vacationing without having to worry about that admin.

[06:28] Don’t schedule an afternoon test.

With my test scheduled for 4:30PM, the resort told me I can’t drink before my Covid test. So, I’m at an all-inclusive resort, living my best life at the pool, but I can’t have my drink until after 4:30PM.

[07:37] Get a hard copy of your results.

On the day of the test, I had to show my passport again so they could verify that I wasn’t someone else trying to scam the system (there are people doing this). I also had to give my email address because they were going to email the results to me as well as have the results ready for me at the lobby that night.

They did not email my results to me, but I did get my hard copy at the lobby – y’all know I’m a fan of hard copies.

[10:00] Nashville’s snow storm extended my stay.

I was in Mexico when the big snowstorm hit Nashville, and my flight got cancelled., so I had to extend my stay.
Now, there’s no problem staying for 2 extra days at an amazing all-inclusive resort.

The problem was that the Covid test only applied for 72 hours before departure, and the extra days meant it no longer applied. So I had to take another Covid test.

[11:29] There are no online check-ins.

There are travellers with carry-ons who check-in online and get their boarding pass on their phones, and then they can just go straight to security.

With the new executive order, that’s no longer possible.

You need to take your Covid test to the check-in counter so that they can give you a boarding pass. No one is going through without that negative test.

So, to summarise:

  1. Book a resort with testing on-site.
  2. Schedule your testing as soon as you arrive.
  3. Have a hard copy of your test results.
  4. Schedule your appointment early in the day.
  5. Have a Plan B.
  6. Do the best that you can to protect yourself from Covid.

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3 thoughts on “Episode 37: COVID-19 Testing Required for U.S. Entry – My Experience

  • Pamela Phillips

    Thank you for always experiencing new travel guidelines to share with your clients. I want to hear from the positive result couple on how they were treated and how the resort helped them until they got a negative result. I am assuming that’s when travel insurance is important to have at all times when traveling. Stay safe!

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