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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Costa Rica lab offers at-airport Covid tests

Laboratorios Echandi is advertising rapid antigen tests at Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) in Liberia, Guanacaste, for travelers who need a negative result in order to return to their home country.

The lab is promising results within an hour for tests taken at the airport.

“Arrive at the airport 4 hours before check-in and receive your Covid-19 antigen test results in less than an hour,” the advertisement reads.

The one-hour antigen test at LIR costs $65. Interested travelers should schedule their test at this link.

“These tests are only authorized for air travel to certain countries, including the United States,” the lab says. “Please have your ticket information and passport ready for verification at the testing site.”

The sample for an antigen test is taken using a nasopharyngeal swab.

Antigen tests meet the United States’s entry requirements. Per the CDC:

Passengers must be tested with a viral test that could be either an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT), such as reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP), and transcription-mediated amplification (TMA). 

Antigen tests do not meet Canada’s entry requirements. They are accepted by the UK and Panama.

According to the U.S. FDA, antigen tests detect specific proteins from the coronavirus. They are “more likely to miss an active Covid-19 infection compared to molecular tests” such as PCR.

To contact Laboratorios Echandi, call 2258-4334 or click here. For a list of 130-plus locations that offer PCR tests for tourists, click here. To reserve this one-hour test at LIR, click here.

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