The Ultimate Guide To Antigen & PCR Tests In Windsor, Ontario

Updated: Oct 24


 PCR tests for travel & rapid antigen tests

If you need to book a PCR test in Windsor, Ontario Canada, you’ve certainly come to the right place. At Safe Travels Clinic, we provide a wide range of pre-flight clearance tests. From rapid antigen tests that are fast, affordable and convenient, to antibody tests and PCR tests for travel, make sure you have the right COVID-19 test results before you fly!


Since Canadian travel restrictions are among the world’s toughest at the moment, with many international passengers denied entry to Canada for non-essential travel, flying can be a stressful experience. Whether you’re booking a winter break, or you need to travel for an important business meeting, making sure to book your PCR test for travel or rapid antigen test is vital to boarding the plane.


While Health Canada still recommends only travelling when necessary, many countries are now open to Canadian tourists. So to empower those ready to fly once again, we’ve put together this detailed guide where we will explain the difference between PCR tests, rapid antigen tests and antibody tests. By the end of this article, you’ll know what each test involves, how to book a COVID-19 test at our clinic in Windsor, Ontario, and how long it will take until you receive your results and Fit to Fly certificate.


 PCR tests for travel & rapid antigen tests- airport

Why Do I Need A COVID-19 Antigen Or PCR Test In Windsor?


As of October 3, 2021, there are1,629,142 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 and 27,921 reported deaths due to the virus in Canada. ¹ Since COVID-19 is a viral infection it is highly contagious and can be passed from one person to the next through tiny airborne pathogens when someone who is sick coughs or sneezes. This makes travelling a public health risk. However, thanks to global vaccination programs, the spread of COVID-19 is starting to slow. In fact, according to Bloomberg, it has been the most extensive vaccination campaign in history, with 6.41 billion doses administered across 184 countries. ² As a result, Canadians can currently travel to 102 countries, although travel restrictions and requirements depend on destination. ³


Here’s a list of countries where Canadians can visit without COVID-19 restrictions;

  1. Albania

  2. Austria

  3. Bahamas

  4. Brazil

  5. Bulgaria

  6. Colombia

  7. Costa Rica

  8. Croatia

  9. Dominican Republic

  10. Ecuador

  11. France

  12. Germany

  13. Greece

  14. Guatemala

  15. Italy

  16. Jamaica

  17. Malta

  18. Mexico

  19. Montenegro

  20. Morocco

  21. North Macedonia

  22. Spain

  23. Tanzania

  24. Turkey

  25. Ukraine

But whether you are fully vaccinated, have received the first dose of the vaccine, or you aren’t vaccinated yet, airlines require passengers to provide a Fit to Fly certificate in order to protect all passengers and crew on board. Some people will show visible symptoms of this virus, but others will not even realize that they are infected. This is why pre-flight testing is crucial to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Most Fit to Fly certificates require a PCR test for travel, as this is the most accurate.


 PCR tests for travel & rapid antigen tests - COVID-19 test

What Is A PCR Test?


A PCR test stands for polymerase chain reaction and is a test to detect genetic material from certain organisms such as the COVID-19 virus. The test can determine the presence of the virus if you have the virus at the time of the test. A PCR test can also identify fragments of the virus, even if you’ve recovered from it a while ago and are no longer infected.

The test can be carried out at our travel clinic in Windsor and will involve a nose and mouth swab. The appointment will be around 15 minutes and will not cause any pain, but it can cause slight discomfort for some. The sample will then be sent to our laboratory next door for immediate processing. This unique process enables us to provide our customers with fast and reliable PCR tests for travel. A positive test means you likely have COVID-19 and should not travel. A negative test means you do not have COVID-19 (at the time that the test was carried out) and are OK to travel.


If you book a PCR test in Windsor at our clinic, all testing is carried out by accredited physician Dr. Bart Kaczmarek and licensed nurses. This means a physician analyzes and determines test results, providing our customers with highly accurate results quickly. We can also provide travel advice whether you are taking a domestic flight or flying internationally. The PCR test at Safe Travels Clinic in Windsor costs 200 dollars + HST.


What Is A Rapid Antigen Test?


Often more affordable than PCR tests for travel, a rapid antigen test is carried out in a very similar way to a regular PCR test, but results will be ready within 15 minutes. Antigen tests can be used to detect COVID-19 by pinpointing proteins called antigens; however, some airlines still require all passengers to take a PCR test over a rapid antigen test, as PCR tests are considered more accurate.


The rapid antigen test costs 75 dollars + HST.


What Is An Antibody Test?


Unlike a PCR test and rapid antigen test, antibody tests look for IgM and IgG antibodies in the blood. A very small blood sample will be taken from the tip of your finger during this test, and results will be ready within 15 minutes. This type of test cannot differentiate between past natural infection and the COVID-19 vaccination. But if you have not yet been vaccinated, a positive test result will indicate that you have previously been infected. In Canada, this is not yet an approved travel test.

The rapid antibody test costs 100 dollars + HST.


 PCR tests for travel & rapid antigen tests - flying

Which Airlines Require A PCR Test For Travel?


According to the Government of Canada, air travellers must complete a health check questionnaire, wear a face mask covering the mouth and nose while flying to and within Canada, unless under the age of 2 years old or exempt with a medical certificate to certify exception. If you have symptoms associated with COVID-19, you must also present a medical certificate confirming that your symptoms are not related to COVID-19.


Starting from October 30, 2021, passengers departing from Canadian airports or travelling on VIA Rail or Rocky Mountaineer trains will need to qualify as fully vaccinated. This also applies to travellers on cruise ships when the season commences in 2022. For more information on the latest travel restrictions, visit travel.gc.ca/travel-covid.


It is important to note that depending on the airline you choose to fly with, the destination you are travelling to, and your vaccination status, you may or may not need to present a pre-flight clearance certificate. If you are required to present one, you must understand which test is required. Failing to provide the necessary PCR test for travel or rapid antigen test could mean not being allowed to board the aircraft.


Here is a list of the top Canadian airlines and their current COVID-19 policies;


Air Canada

WestJet (Recognized by AirlineRatings as one of the top-20 most COVID compliant airlines in the world in 2021)

United Airlines

Lufthansa

Delta

Air Transat

Porter Airlines

Flair Airlines

Sunwing Airlines


Where can I get a PCR test for travel? At Safe Travels Clinic, we offer COVID-19 testing at our clinic in downtown Windsor. With comprehensive testing for travellers, individuals and business clients, we are open seven days a week, and all our staff are fully vaccinated and follow strict protocols for your protection.


Our address is: 1428 Ouellette Avenue, suite 302, Windsor, Ontario, N8X 1K4, Canada

To book a COVID-19 antigen, antibody or PCR test in Windsor, call 226-773-5252 or simply book online.


For corporate inquiries, feel free to email us; info@safetravelsclinic.com


How Long Does It Take To Get My Results?


Once you have booked your flight, plan accordingly so that you get your PCR travel test results in time. Too early, and you might get the virus before your trip. Too late, and you may not receive the PCR test results in time for your trip.


Windsor PCR tests will take 15 minutes to do, and results are provided via email within 24 to 48 hours. On average, our patients will receive their results via email within 24 hours, although they may be delayed up to 48 hours in some rare cases. This is why it is vital to book your test in advance and give yourself enough time to receive the results before checking in for your flight. Ideally, take your test within 72 hours prior to arriving at your final destination.


If you are able to book a rapid antigen test, you will receive your COVID-19 test results in a matter of minutes. This test is approved by countries such as the USA, UK and Italy, although always check the entry requirements before booking your pre-flight clearance test.


Whether you’re flying from Windsor International Airport, London International Airport, Waterloo International Airport, Hamilton International Airport or perhaps Billy Bishop Toronto City Centre Airport, plan ahead and book the right COVID-19 pre-flight clearance test at a PCR test centre near you.


For a PCR test in Windsor or a rapid antibody or rapid antigen test, visit Safe Travels Clinic now and book online.



References:

  1. https://ipac-canada.org/coronavirus-resources.php

  2. https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution/

  3. https://capturetheatlas.com/where-can-canadians-travel/