Black Expats Share COVID-19 Testing Costs And Timelines Across The World
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Black Expats Share COVID-19 Testing Costs And Timelines Across The World

COVID-19 , living abroad , news
Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Jan 19, 2021

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced starting Tuesday, Jan. 26, all air travelers ages 2 and older must show a negative COVID-19 test to enter the United States.

The CDC’s latest directive, which includes US citizens and permanent residents, comes amid reports of more transmissible variants of the virus emerging in other countries.

Following the news, confusion and anxiety erupted in the travel industry, mainly because of the timeline of when the order goes into effect. People who already booked travel plans have a short amount of time to find adequate testing sites in the destinations they’re visiting. The US requires testing no more than 3 days before flight departure.

Black Expat Community Responds

Questions surrounding where to find testing remains a hot topic on social media.

The CDC noted that negative results need to come from a test that can detect an ongoing infection by picking up on pieces of the pathogen itself.


The two types of tests that fall into this category are molecular tests, including PCR tests and antigen tests, and antibody tests— which can only determine whether someone was infected in the past, does not meet the requirement, as reported in the New York Times.

The Black expat community is responding by offering some advice on where to get tested. Here’s a list of what to expect in some places:

Travelers to Cuba can find at least three testing centers in Havana that cost approximately $30. Turnaround time is anywhere from 24 to 48 hours.

While there are plenty of testing sites in Cairo, one expat explains, tourists should be prepared to pay between $130 – $160 for the test if not more.

In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, one expat explains there are a few places set up for testing, but rates vary on your resident status. A tourist can expect to pay approximately $100 in Tanzania with a two-day turnaround.

In the United Arab Emirates, tests range from $23 to $41, an expat explains. Clinics can be found in malls and tests are generally ready in a few hours.

Here is a list of 20+ resorts and hotels St. Lucia offering testing.

Beware that things can change quickly

Some expats and travelers in popular destinations for American tourists are cautioning travelers that service can change quickly. In Barbados, which reopened its borders on July 1, 2020, one traveler said that test results could take up to nine days following an uptick in vacation-goers.

The best way to find a test is through tourism bureaus in the destination you’re visiting. A few airlines, including American, Jet Blue, and United, offer to help their customers in certain countries arrange tests.

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