The SouthCoast’s Free COVID-19 Testing Sites
My husband and I went to Jamaica for our honeymoon and we left on Sunday, January 2. Jamaica currently requires travelers to show proof of a negative COVID test result with a sample taken within 72 hours of departure. An at-home test would not count, so we needed a certified lab to process our PCR or Antigen test. We got our noses swabbed on Thursday, December 30 knowing that was the earliest we could collect a sample, but results could still come in at the last minute. We crossed our fingers and said a prayer.
Little did we know, the lab that would have processed our samples was closed for the holiday weekend. No one told us, so we were scrambling to find another test on New Year’s Day. Luckily, we found a clinic that would let us take a qualifying test and receive results within 20 minutes. The only downside was that it would cost us each $150 to do it there. With our hands tied, we had no choice but to pay the fee so we could save our honeymoon from being canceled the day before we left.
While I am eternally grateful that we were able to take this amazing trip and make wonderful memories, the process of getting there was slightly painful. The headache of finding a test at the last minute and then having to pay a significant amount for it was a burden we did not expect to take on right before our already expensive trip. If I can help save others from having to go through this process, whether it is for travel or not, I will be happy to share this vital information with you.
Bear in mind that most of these sites fill up with appointments quickly as there is a high demand for these tests at this time.
It is important to note that you can now order one set of four free at-home tests from the United States Postal Service. Orders will start to ship for free starting in late January.