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Topic: Flying Post-Covid  (Read 1359 times)

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Flying Post-Covid
« on: November 10, 2021, 04:47:28 PM »
Hello,

My husband and I both tested positive for Covid in October.

We have since recovered and are back at work. We are flying to the US in December.

From what I understand, we cannot take a PCR test before we fly because we could still test positive for up to 90 days.

The CDC site says we need to get a letter from a healthcare provider or practitioner saying we are fit for travel.

Our GP absolutely refuses to do it, even after offering to pay them for their services. We have tried multiple Private GPs but they have waiting lists of 6 + weeks which is too late for us.

I have 3 possible options and I wanted to run this past you lovely people to see if you think these are viable.

1 - We just use our NHS recovery pass (it is a QR code in the NHS App just like the vaccine record) Some expats have said their airlines would NOT allow this. I asked my airline and they said “we have no idea”
2 - We maybe try a US doctor to write this for us? It doesn’t specify anywhere the letter has be from the UK.
3 - We just chance it and take a test least preferred option. I feel like this is 50/50.

From what I have discussed with NHS, on our flight back we have to take a test no matter what to enter the UK, but they said if we do test positive we can show our NHS pass to explain the results.

Thank you for your help!
« Last Edit: November 10, 2021, 04:51:05 PM by thatgirlgrace »


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Re: Flying Post-Covid
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2021, 08:12:55 AM »
You could use NHS tests (lateral flow test) to see what results they bring up? After consecutive negative results you can be confident that your private test (to fly to US) will be negative. However, if you're getting positive results then you know there's a significant chance your private test will be positive.

That will make the decision for you.
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Re: Flying Post-Covid
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2021, 09:24:13 AM »
I agree with Ben.

The US doesn't require a PCR, so the lateral flows will give you a good indication on what the paid for test results will be.  They are virtually identical, just one is paid for with a certificate.


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Re: Flying Post-Covid
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2021, 01:15:50 PM »
I agree with Ben.

The US doesn't require a PCR, so the lateral flows will give you a good indication on what the paid for test results will be.  They are virtually identical, just one is paid for with a certificate.

+1

Theses days the lateral flows are 90% accurate these days
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Flying Post-Covid
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2021, 10:54:12 PM »
+1

Theses days the lateral flows are 90% accurate these days
They’re not, sadly! My husband tested negative on lateral flow the entire time and I went to work for 2 days as my tests were negative but then we both came back positive on the PCR but if I can use LTF then it should be fine.

Thanks very much everyone


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Re: Flying Post-Covid
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2021, 10:54:51 PM »
I agree with Ben.

The US doesn't require a PCR, so the lateral flows will give you a good indication on what the paid for test results will be.  They are virtually identical, just one is paid for with a certificate.
Thank you


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Re: Flying Post-Covid
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2021, 10:55:13 PM »
You could use NHS tests (lateral flow test) to see what results they bring up? After consecutive negative results you can be confident that your private test (to fly to US) will be negative. However, if you're getting positive results then you know there's a significant chance your private test will be positive.

That will make the decision for you.
Thanks very much, Ben! We will give that a try!


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Re: Flying Post-Covid
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2021, 09:24:27 AM »
They’re not, sadly! My husband tested negative on lateral flow the entire time and I went to work for 2 days as my tests were negative but then we both came back positive on the PCR but if I can use LTF then it should be fine.

Thanks very much everyone


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You are correct, I misspoke.  They are 90% accurate in predicting a positive response. i.e. If you test positive then the PCR follow-up test will almost certainly confirm it.

A problem with the PCR test is that it so sensitive, and will show positive in the presence of residual virus RNA hence the 90 day or longer after an infection problem.  Almost certainly not infectious but likely to fail an airline test.

https://www.gavi.org/vaccineswork/how-long-after-i-get-covid-19-will-i-test-negative#:~:text=residual%20virus%20RNA.-,Unfortunately%2C%20many%20people%20can%20test%20positive%20for%20COVID%2D19%20for,transmit%20the%20virus%20to%20others.

Quote
Lateral flow tests that look for viral proteins called antigens are less sensitive and may be less likely to give a positive result several days after first infection. If we test positive on a PCR test but negative on an antigen test, then it's likely that we are not infectious and have just residual virus RNA.

Unfortunately, many people can test positive for COVID-19 for weeks or even months, but there is good news: people are not likely to be contagious for that long, even if they test positive, and therefore are unlikely to transmit the virus to others. However, if we test positive on a PCR as well as on a protein-based antigen test, then we might still be infectious. This is because having viral proteins for a long time means that the virus is replicating and producing more of its core material.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


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Re: Flying Post-Covid
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2021, 09:31:54 AM »
You are correct, I misspoke.  They are 90% accurate in predicting a positive response. i.e. If you test positive then the PCR follow-up test will almost certainly confirm it.

A problem with the PCR test is that it so sensitive, and will show positive in the presence of residual virus RNA hence the 90 day or longer after an infection problem.  Almost certainly not infectious but likely to fail an airline test.

https://www.gavi.org/vaccineswork/how-long-after-i-get-covid-19-will-i-test-negative#:~:text=residual%20virus%20RNA.-,Unfortunately%2C%20many%20people%20can%20test%20positive%20for%20COVID%2D19%20for,transmit%20the%20virus%20to%20others.


Which is why I wouldn’t book a PCR for the USA travel as it’s not required.


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Re: Flying Post-Covid
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2021, 09:40:30 AM »
Which is why I wouldn’t book a PCR for the USA travel as it’s not required.

That is good to know since we are now officially double vaccinated and hoping to travel to California in the new year. We had a dose of Pfizer this week since our last dose was Novavax as part of a mixed vaccine trial and our international Covid passport wouldn't work without 2 doses of an approved vaccine. It works now  :)
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Re: Flying Post-Covid
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2021, 01:44:32 PM »
Which is why I wouldn’t book a PCR for the USA travel as it’s not required.
Ughhh! It is required now for when we come back. Can I just use my NHS letter? Surely the NHS counts as a “public health official” I have my isolation note as well. I spoke to 119 again this morning and they said all I need is my app but I’m scared



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Re: Flying Post-Covid
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2021, 12:34:38 AM »
Ughhh! It is required now for when we come back. Can I just use my NHS letter? Surely the NHS counts as a “public health official” I have my isolation note as well. I spoke to 119 again this morning and they said all I need is my app but I’m scared

I'm in the same boat! In the US and need to come back to UK. I have an NHS Covid Pass Recovery thing on the app. Looks like I just need an LF/Rapid test to board the plane, but I'm not sure about the PCR test after I arrive.

All the UK Gov documents I read make no mention of an exception for recently recovered people. So I'm afraid that I take a PCR on arrival and then I have to do another 10 day quarantine.

What did you find out?


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