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Approved RCCL Covid-19 testing for Canadians


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I'm a Canadian going on a cruise on Anthem of the Seas in March 2022.  Any recommendations for approved Covid-19 testing required by RCCL prior to boarding.  I was looking at the approved binax proctored test, but they only ship to the US.  Other alternatives are $150 test for each person.  Looking for an approved test accepted by RCCL that is affordable.  Any suggestions or recommendations are appreciated.  

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RC says antigen tests are allowed 2 days prior, and it’s also an approved test to enter the US. My plan was to go to Shoppers and spend $40 per test which comes with travel docs. 
Getting home will be expensive as tests run $150 pp. 

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Can anyone tell me what they're doing to get home to Canada for testing now Royal doesn't do the pcr on board anymore? I want to test on board as they will take care of us if we're positive. If we wait until we get off the ship, we won't have the guarantee. Thanks for any help! 

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3 hours ago, Jillyalex said:

Can anyone tell me what they're doing to get home to Canada for testing now Royal doesn't do the pcr on board anymore? I want to test on board as they will take care of us if we're positive. If we wait until we get off the ship, we won't have the guarantee. Thanks for any help! 

My recommendation is to get the rapid PCR test at airport. Very pricey but hassle free. Very quick results

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11 hours ago, Jillyalex said:

Can anyone tell me what they're doing to get home to Canada for testing now Royal doesn't do the pcr on board anymore? I want to test on board as they will take care of us if we're positive. If we wait until we get off the ship, we won't have the guarantee. Thanks for any help! 

I’ve done a bunch of research and here are my thoughts.

- RC only tests at the pier now and it’s $210 US. Only unvaccinated kids can get an antigen test onboard, or if you have symptoms I think they test you free. (Not for travel)


- $150 CAD p/p to order the PCR test through switch health (Aeroplan) which you can take onboard RC a day prior to disembarkment. If you test positive then you would let RC know and they would need to test you (I’m assuming they don’t charge if you have been exposed for the test).

If you’re positive I would think their Covid-19 guarantee is honoured for accommodations as you are still a guest onboard. 
 
- Or you can get Manulife Covid-19 ins which was $85 CAD for 2 adults / 2 kids and covers hotel and medical 
 

Also, if you’ve tested Positive via PCR in the last 180 days you don’t need a test to gain entry to Canada. You will need a printed document with Name, DOB and infection info which is obtained at your doctors office or lab where the test was taken. 
 

Hope this helps

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11 hours ago, Jillyalex said:

Can anyone tell me what they're doing to get home to Canada for testing now Royal doesn't do the pcr on board anymore? I want to test on board as they will take care of us if we're positive. If we wait until we get off the ship, we won't have the guarantee. Thanks for any help! 

Royal will no longer test on board so you either have to test at the pier (if mobile set up is available) or at the airport and it is at your own cost.  As you say, Royal is not responsible for getting any of us home once we leave the ship.  CVS in some location is offering a rapid PCR test but from what I can find out it's still $129.  It would be wonderful if they still tested us on say day 6 and then we used that test to fly or drive home, but that is no longer an option.

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1 hour ago, Jen W said:

- $150 CAD p/p to order the PCR test through switch health (Aeroplan) which you can take onboard RC a day prior to disembarkment. If you test positive then you would let RC know and they would need to test you (I’m assuming they don’t charge if you have been exposed for the test)

Careful with this one though.  We have had a few threads recently here that CBSA won't accept the Switch Health test.  I think it was @recogneyes or @YellowBrickRoad who looked into it and called CBSA.

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1 hour ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Careful with this one though.  We have had a few threads recently here that CBSA won't accept the Switch Health test.  I think it was @recogneyes or @YellowBrickRoad who looked into it and called CBSA.

Yes, I read that after I posted. I’m checking with my friend who is the chief Covid officer at the airport. This is turning out to be a nightmare!!!! 

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Yes...it was me who called CBSA and Public Health who both advised the Switch Health Lamp Kits are not accepted because they are not performed in a lab.  I would think since Air Canada promotes that they partnered with Switch Health to provide these as options for international travel back to Canada that they would be accepted to board the flight.  It's the coming through customs at the airport....or at land borders.....that appears to be the issue.  At the airport, I would think perhaps an argument could be made that you purchased the test through Air Canada in good faith.  I would be more concerned at the land borders but the whole thing is such a mess.  

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1 hour ago, Jen W said:

Yes, I read that after I posted. I’m checking with my friend who is the chief Covid officer at the airport. This is turning out to be a nightmare!!!! 

 

1 hour ago, Jen W said:

Yes, I read that after I posted. I’m checking with my friend who is the chief Covid officer at the airport. This is turning out to be a nightmare!!!! 

Looking forward to your update....thank you!

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On 1/29/2022 at 10:01 AM, recogneyes said:

Royal will no longer test on board so you either have to test at the pier (if mobile set up is available) or at the airport and it is at your own cost.  As you say, Royal is not responsible for getting any of us home once we leave the ship.  CVS in some location is offering a rapid PCR test but from what I can find out it's still $129.  It would be wonderful if they still tested us on say day 6 and then we used that test to fly or drive home, but that is no longer an option.

We are currently booked at shoppers drug mart to get our pre covid rapid test to board the ship. I just called Quest which is the name of the company that Royal has listed that would be doing the post travel tests on the pier.  She said they only do PCR tests for Canadians and results are 1-2 days.  is the CVS rapid test approved to re-enter Canada?  Looking for quick test results as we are planning to drive straight home 6hr drive after disembarkation.

 

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On 1/28/2022 at 6:11 PM, tlk said:

I'm a Canadian going on a cruise on Anthem of the Seas in March 2022.  Any recommendations for approved Covid-19 testing required by RCCL prior to boarding.  I was looking at the approved binax proctored test, but they only ship to the US.  Other alternatives are $150 test for each person.  Looking for an approved test accepted by RCCL that is affordable.  Any suggestions or recommendations are appreciated.  

we are booked at shoppers drug mart for $40 per person but Walmart also does it for $20 per person.  Our local walmart only takes bookings over the phone 2 weeks prior.  Wanted to make sure we had appts so currently booked with shoppers but may change to walmart since there is 5 of us that is a savings of $100.

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On 1/31/2022 at 12:14 PM, MacTac said:

Walmart also does it for $20 per person. 

When I looked into Walmart I learned that it was not authorized for travel outside of Canada. 
https://www.walmart.ca/cp/shop/asymptomatic-covid-testing/6000203002155

How Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing works

  • Eligibility entails no known symptoms, no travel outside of Canada, and no prior exposure to COVID-19 within the last 14 days. Individuals who exhibit symptoms, who have travelled outside of Canada, or who may have been exposed to COVID-19 within the last 14 days will be referred to other COVID-19 protocols.

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I apologize in advance for this warning.  But I have to say something

My brother in law went on a recent cruise out of Miami on Freedom of the Seas, returned to port on Jan 14 to fly back home "Canada"

Paid for 4 Rapid PCR "RT-PCR" tests to satisfy the Canadian Gov requirement to fly back home.  He stressed before the purchase they required PCR tests to fly back home"

Once they received their results, his wife tested positive for Covid and they wouldn't do a retest, the wrong test kit was used to determine the results, they used Antigen test method. They were then in touch with the Florida Health Dept to work out the plan for quarantine procedures.    Again He and both kids received the RT-PCR test, his wife received the Antigen test even though they paid for 4 RT-PCR tests.

My brother in Law had to go back home, he wanted to bring his kids with him. Florida Health with the CDC guidelines denied his 11yr & 16yr to fly back home.

11yr old only received 1 shot - tested negative, was told has to stay with mother to quarantine 

16yr received both shots, but 6 months has passed since the last shot, she also couldn't leave.

He was on the phone several times with Nomi Health to find out why they had used the wrong testing method.  They apologized and advised them to get retested after the quarantine.  

So quarantine was over, they scheduled their test and flight to go back home.

All tested NEGATIVE..     IT WAS A FREGGIN FALSE POSITIVE.  if she would have received the correct testing method from the start ????

They later found out locally and via family in Florida, this is not the only case.  There has been many cases like this specially coming from Miami  Airport.

 

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On 1/29/2022 at 1:38 PM, recogneyes said:

 

Looking forward to your update....thank you!

Update: In order to give a definite answer, she would need to see what the results email looks like. I tried to get a template from Switch Health, but they advised they have no such thing. Switch Health says they've never heard of someone being denied access back to Canada from using this test, however they would not take responsibility to cover the fees if you get refused. 

Based on the acceptable criteria, my only concern is "Name and Civic address of the lab" - I would presume if it says "Self-Administered" there may be an issue. The fact that my friend is not familiar with this test (which has been out for sometime) is maybe a good thing, they likely don't list on the result it was self admin w/ health care video - only that it was a RT-LMAP test. 

Hoping others who are coming home soon can share their experience. I still think I'm going to risk using this one and argue with Border Services if they try and deny me access. I tested positive, and I'm sure they are going to hassle me with the documentation of my positive result (which BTW is a nightmare to obtain)!!

traveller name and date of birth

name and civic address of the laboratory/clinic/facility that administered the test

the date on which the test was taken

the type of test taken

the test result

 

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On 1/31/2022 at 2:10 PM, MacTac said:

We are currently booked at shoppers drug mart to get our pre covid rapid test to board the ship. I just called Quest which is the name of the company that Royal has listed that would be doing the post travel tests on the pier.  She said they only do PCR tests for Canadians and results are 1-2 days.  is the CVS rapid test approved to re-enter Canada?  Looking for quick test results as we are planning to drive straight home 6hr drive after disembarkation.

 

Are you sure the PCR tests done at the pier take 1-2 days?  I thought these would return much quicker (within a few hours) as that timeframe is useless if travelling home.

Edit...according to Royal's page, it states that results will be emailed to you within an hour of testing

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/when-to-take-a-test-if-traveling-to-us-from-another-country

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1 hour ago, Jen W said:

Update: In order to give a definite answer, she would need to see what the results email looks like. I tried to get a template from Switch Health, but they advised they have no such thing. Switch Health says they've never heard of someone being denied access back to Canada from using this test, however they would not take responsibility to cover the fees if you get refused. 

Based on the acceptable criteria, my only concern is "Name and Civic address of the lab" - I would presume if it says "Self-Administered" there may be an issue. The fact that my friend is not familiar with this test (which has been out for sometime) is maybe a good thing, they likely don't list on the result it was self admin w/ health care video - only that it was a RT-LMAP test. 

Hoping others who are coming home soon can share their experience. I still think I'm going to risk using this one and argue with Border Services if they try and deny me access. I tested positive, and I'm sure they are going to hassle me with the documentation of my positive result (which BTW is a nightmare to obtain)!!

traveller name and date of birth

name and civic address of the laboratory/clinic/facility that administered the test

the date on which the test was taken

the type of test taken

the test result

 

Thank you for trying to get some clarification on this.  I'm really hoping that Switch Health and Air Canada will help clarify for their customers/passengers and not just say its up to us to do our due diligence.  Air Canada advertises the LAMP tests for entry back into Canada.  CBSA still says not accepted because not done in a lab. We may also face hurdles because in returning to Canada those who cruised didn't just visit the US, we visited other places as well.  

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23 hours ago, Jen W said:

Update: In order to give a definite answer, she would need to see what the results email looks like. I tried to get a template from Switch Health, but they advised they have no such thing. Switch Health says they've never heard of someone being denied access back to Canada from using this test, however they would not take responsibility to cover the fees if you get refused. 

Based on the acceptable criteria, my only concern is "Name and Civic address of the lab" - I would presume if it says "Self-Administered" there may be an issue. The fact that my friend is not familiar with this test (which has been out for sometime) is maybe a good thing, they likely don't list on the result it was self admin w/ health care video - only that it was a RT-LMAP test. 

Hoping others who are coming home soon can share their experience. I still think I'm going to risk using this one and argue with Border Services if they try and deny me access. I tested positive, and I'm sure they are going to hassle me with the documentation of my positive result (which BTW is a nightmare to obtain)!!

traveller name and date of birth

name and civic address of the laboratory/clinic/facility that administered the test

the date on which the test was taken

the type of test taken

the test result

 

Here's a sample of an antigen test that was done at home and proctored.   The report doesn't seem to indicate that it was a home test (it's been a fun few weeks in our household).

10219851_Redacted.pdf

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On 1/28/2022 at 6:11 PM, tlk said:

I'm a Canadian going on a cruise on Anthem of the Seas in March 2022.  Any recommendations for approved Covid-19 testing required by RCCL prior to boarding.  I was looking at the approved binax proctored test, but they only ship to the US.  Other alternatives are $150 test for each person.  Looking for an approved test accepted by RCCL that is affordable.  Any suggestions or recommendations are appreciated.  

Walmart pharmacy $19.95 . Save your money 

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Ugh!  We will still need an antigen test to come back.  So annoying.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/feds-set-to-eliminate-pre-arrival-pcr-testing-for-fully-vaccinated-canadian-travellers-source-says-1.5778453

So I guess now the question becomes where to get a rapid antigen test cause shoreside through Royal only has rapid PCR from what I can tell on this link provided earlier:

https://covlc.gomeyra.cloud/services/tests

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2 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Ugh!  We will still need an antigen test to come back.  So annoying.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/feds-set-to-eliminate-pre-arrival-pcr-testing-for-fully-vaccinated-canadian-travellers-source-says-1.5778453

So I guess now the question becomes where to get a rapid antigen test cause shoreside through Royal only has rapid PCR from what I can tell on this link provided earlier:

https://covlc.gomeyra.cloud/services/tests

UGH is right - maybe the airports will be our best bet?  I guess we start looking once formal announcement is made.

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8 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I am secretly hoping (wishful thinking) that they will follow the US and require antigen testing for air but not land borders 😉

I’m hoping land borders won’t require the antigen as well…. If this is not the case, we can now save money and get the antigen test done at Walgreens/CVS nearby…will see what any new protocols for the home tests are before going that route. 
At least it’s progress! 🙌🏼

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On 2/2/2022 at 2:27 PM, WannaCruise said:

Are you sure the PCR tests done at the pier take 1-2 days?  I thought these would return much quicker (within a few hours) as that timeframe is useless if travelling home.

Edit...according to Royal's page, it states that results will be emailed to you within an hour of testing

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/when-to-take-a-test-if-traveling-to-us-from-another-country

thank you for this info....I was going by the email that they sent to me.  The email also listed the price for PCR tests at $210....the price on your link is much better 🙂  We will definitely arrange to do it at the pier if this is the price and time line.  I had called Royal and they had given me the name of the company that they use (Quest)....Quest is the ones that told me that it would be 1-2 days.  I asked them about NAAT testing as it is a type of PCR that Canada will accept and results are supposed to be in about 3 hours and they lady said she had never heard of it.  Really hoping PCR testing is down graded to antigen next week when Canada is supposed to announce new changes to the border requirements.

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