Travelling to the US

Before you travel

Before boarding a flight to the United States, you are required to show proof of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test result taken no more than 1 day before travel. There is also an option for people who have documented recovery from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. Children under 2 years old do not need to test. You should ensure you have your documentation ready to present to your airline at the airport. Learn more about these requirements.

Please be aware that if you are returning from Chile, rapid testing in Santiago airport (SCL) airport is not an option, so you will need to ensure there is time in your travel schedule to get tested at a testing facility. If you are returning home via Argentina, rapid testing is available at both airports in Buenos Aires (AEP and EZE). Find out more about how and where to get tested in Chile or Argentina before you leave.

Please review the Centers for Disease Control’s full guidelines on pre-travel PCR testing.

When you arrive

When you arrive in the US you should:

  1. Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel (find a testing location near you)
  2. Self-monitor for Covid-19 symptoms
  3. If you do develop symptoms then isolate and get tested
  4. Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel
  5. If you test positive isolate to protect others (learn what to do)

Please review the Centers for Disease Control’s full guidelines on returning home after international travel.

Self-testing kits

As well as the testing facilities found in Chile, some Swoop customers have mentioned the possibility of using 'self-testing kits' for return to the USA. If you decide to take these tests, please check their validity with your airline before travel, and make sure you fully understand how they work. Do be aware that you might have to be connected to the internet for long stretches of time in order to process the results and it is likely that you will need to take the test during a scheduled video call with the test provider. This may be a challenge for those returning from remote locations.

As such, we recommend that you do not solely rely on these kits for your testing requirements and that you build in contingency to your itinerary for their use. Swoop cannot be held responsible for any third-party endorsement, nor the use or acceptance for travel of any self-testing kits. Always check with your airline and the CDC, before travel, for their latest recommendations for testing.

Travelling to the UK

Entry requirements to the UK vary depending on if you are entering England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. See the specific British Government guidance for details. Travellers should always double-check their situation against the official government guidance and enquire with their airline and/or consular representation in Chile or Argentina.


By means of an example, we have provided the current requirements for England below.

As of 11th February 2022, if you qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England:

  • You will not need to take a Covid-19 test before you travel
  • You will not need to quarantine when you arrive
  • You will not need to take a Covid-19 test after your arrival

Travelling to the EU

Entry requirements to the European Union vary between member nations. Please review the EU’s country-specific guidance.

Travelling to all other countries

For all other countries, please check your government’s official guidance.

PCR testing before you leave Chile or Argentina

If your home country requires you to present a negative Covid-19 test result on arrival, you will need to arrange to take a take whilst you are still in Chile or Argentina. Your travel itinerary and when you are required to take the test will determine whether you should book a test in Ushuaia or Punta Arenas after you disembark from your voyage, or the capitals of Buenos Aires or Santiago before your flight home.

Our preferred testing sites in Chile and Argentina are as follows. Other test centres may also be available.

Please note that the following list is intended as a guide only, and Swoop Antarctica cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies or for the service provided. Please check the latest prices, opening times and other pertinent information directly with the test centre before booking your appointment and before your visit, as information may change.

Testing in Santiago, Chile

1. Genosur

Location: Hilton Hotel, 4km from Santiago de Chile Airport, Santiago City, or delivered to a Santiago location (such as a hotel) of your choice

Cost: Approximately $30-55 USD

Test type: PCR

Opening times: 10am-5pm Monday to Friday, 2-4pm Saturday

English spoken: Yes

Approximate processing time: 4 hours (during opening hours)

2. Bionet

Location: Arrivals terminal in Santiago de Chile Airport, Santiago City, or delivered to a Santiago location (such as a hotel) of your choice

Cost: Approximately $30-55 USD

Test type: PCR

Opening times: 8am-6pm Monday to Saturday

English spoken: Yes

Approximate processing time: 12-24 hours

Book: For airport and city centre lab services, no appointment is needed, customers are seen per order of arrival. For home/hotel sampling, book a test.

3. Cellus

Location: Mobile testing - available at a Santiago location of your choice

Cost: Approximately $50-60 USD

Test type: PCR

Opening times: 9am-5pm Monday to Friday

English spoken: Unconfirmed

Approximate processing time: 24 hours (during opening hours)

4. PCR Solutions

Location: Central Santiago (Providencia)

Cost: Approximately $30 USD

Test type: Antigen

Opening times: 9am-5pm Monday to Friday

English spoken: Yes

Approximate processing time: 30 minutes

Customer review background image

What our customers think of Returning home from Antarctica

The experience reminded me that there is so much out there to see and explore and that you're not ever stuck - a good reminder when you feel a bit overwhelmed in life. Read the full review

Travelled: February 2022

Lauren Woosey - UK

Testing in Punta Arenas, Chile

1. Medilab

Location: Central Punta Arenas, Monsignor José Fagnano 504

Cost: $18-30 USD

Test type: PCR and antigen

Opening times: 11am-4pm Monday to Friday

English spoken: Unconfirmed

Approximate processing time: PCR testing 24-72 hours, Antigen testing 12 hours

Book: via WhatsApp +56 9 9005 8353

2. Laboratorio DeAgostini

Location: Av. Guillermo Pérez de Arce 401-447

Cost: $30-50 USD

Test type: PCR and antigen

Opening times: 8am-11am and 3pm-5pm Monday to Friday, 8am-11am Saturdays (only antigen testing is available, not PCR testing)

English spoken: Unconfirmed

Approximate processing time: PCR testing 24 hours or less, antigen testing 1 hour

Book: Appointments via email laboratoriodeagostini@gmail.com or call +56 6122 22068

Testing in the Lake District, Chile

1. Dummo

Location: Puerto Varas, central

Cost: $40 USD

Test type: PCR

Opening times: Unconfirmed, request an appointment

English spoken: Unconfirmed

Approximate processing time: PCR testing 24 hours or less

Results: Results are in English and Spanish

Testing in Aysen, Chile

1. CEM Lab

Location: Almirante Barroso 817, Coyhaique, Región de Aysen

Cost: $50-80 USD

Test type: PCR and antigen

Opening times: 12pm-8pm Monday to Friday

English spoken: Unconfirmed

Approximate processing time: PCR testing 48 hours or less, antigen testing 2 hours

Book: To make an appointment, email pbrito@cemedica.cl at least 3 days before your test is required (testing at your accommodation can be requested at an additional cost)

Results: Results are via email, in English and Spanish

Testing in Buenos Aires, Argentina

The following is available in both AEP and EZE Buenos Aires airports (Terminal A buildings), 24hrs a day, 7 days a week:

  • PCR test, results in 4hrs, costs $7,000 Argentinian pesos ($69 USD)

  • Antigen / lateral flow test, results in 30 mins, costs $4,000 Argentinian pesos ($40 USD)


Other recommended testing sites in Buenos Aires are as follows (other test centres are also available).

Please check the latest prices, opening times and other pertinent information directly with the test centre before booking your appointment and your visit, as information may change.

1. Stamboulian Labs

Location: Terminal A building ‘Aeroparque’ Jorge Newbury AEP regional airport OR Terminal A building Ministro Pistarini EZE international airport

Cost: Approximately $60 USD for a PCR test, $40 USD for an antigen test

Test type: PCR and antigen tests are both available

Opening times: Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

English spoken: Yes

Approximate processing time: PCR 4 hours, antigen 30 mins

Book: No booking required, tests are done on the order of arrival

2. Rossi Labs

Location: Various central Buenos Aires locations

Cost: Approximately $80 USD for a PCR test, $40 USD for an antigen test

Test type: PCR and antigen tests are both available

Opening times: Typically 7am-8pm, but times vary by location

English spoken: In some locations

Approximate processing time: PCR 24 hours, antigen 30 minutes

Testing in Ushuaia, Argentina

1. Pax & Crew

Location: Punto Covid Centre, Calle Fitz-Roy 280, Downtown Ushuaia

Cost: $180 USD for an RT-Lamp test 

Test type: RT-Lamp (best test for a tight turnaround)

Opening times: 7am-8pm Monday to Sunday

English spoken: Yes

Approximate processing time: 1-3 hours for an RT-Lamp test - results are shared via email in English

Book: To book an appointment call or WhatsApp Cecilia on +54 9 2901 519278 or email testing@paxandcrew.com.ar

To book, you must provide:

  • Full name
  • Other personal details (passport number, date of birth etc)
  • Date and time of testing required

It is possible to book your testing directly with the Sanatorio San Jorge lab (details immediately below) – from which Pax & Crew operate – for a lower cost. However, Pax & Crew's English-speaking service helps travellers secure Covid test bookings at the lab and ensures appointments run smoothly. You may feel it is worth the additional cost for the peace of mind this provides.

2. Sanatorio San Jorge

Location: Downtown Ushuaia: Onachaga 184, V9410 BQC, Tierra del Fuego - for groups of 8 or more, testing can be arranged at your hotel for no additional charge

Cost: Approximately $115-125 USD for PCR testing, $40-55 USD for antigen testing

Test type: PCR, antigen, RT-Lamp test (best test for a tight turnaround)

Opening times: 8am-6pm, 365 days a year

English spoken: Unconfirmed

Approximate processing time: 24 hours for PCR testing, 2 hours for antigen testing

Book: Request an appointment via email below

Payment: Via credit card or bank transfer. If paying in USD cash, expect to pay 20-30% less given the preferential rate of exchange for this currency.

3. Laboratorio Gobernador Paz

Location: Downtown Ushuaia – Gobernador Paz 1523

Cost: $125 USD for PCR testing, $50 USD for antigen testing

Test type: PCR and antigen

Opening times: 8am-5pm Monday to Friday, 9am-11.30am Saturdays

English spoken: Broken English

Approximate processing time: PCR results in 24 hours, antigen testing results in 15 minutes

Booking: Booking is necessary via WhatsApp +54 9 2901 496530



Disclaimer

Information provided by Swoop is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time only, but in this fast-changing environment we cannot be held responsible for changes not immediately reflected on this website or in information shared with you. Customers should undertake their own research appropriate to their individual circumstances before making final decisions.

Where links to government, operators or other third-party sites are provided, again this information is accurate and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge, but we cannot be held responsible for third-party content.