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CANADA> NO MORE PCR TESTS ! BREAKING NEWS


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50 minutes ago, Rene Desmarais said:

I guess you will be scheduling your appointment with Switch Health on disembarkation day or using voom service before disembarkation day?

Probably will use VOOM and do it the night before we disembark. If I did not have VOOM, I probably would not bother with the Switch Health option. 

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On 2/15/2022 at 5:27 PM, recogneyes said:

Thanks and yikes  - that's expensive.  Hopefully Walgreen's or CVS can do them cheaper and do the paperwork required to travel back to canada.   I've heard from others that antigen testing at the border is $65 so that's an option as are the Switch Health antigen tests that you purchase before you leave Canada

Just thinking. Canda cannot refuse re entry for any bonafide Canadian, Vaxxed or not. Im not even going to get tested.  They might just let me through

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11 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I think we are going to give it a go for Oasis 3/13 in a few weeks. Seems to be the easiest option.

We used the switch telehealth for our flights out of YVr - MCO and Harmony boarding in December and it was SO easy.  

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6 hours ago, DJsMrs said:

We used the switch telehealth for our flights out of YVr - MCO and Harmony boarding in December and it was SO easy.  

I remember you sharing this!  When I called Royal I was told unless the SH test is US FDA approved they will not accept it.  They are made by a company called Lucira and their PCR proctored test has the approval but not this one.   Can you recall if the boarding agent made any notice of these being home proctored tests?  We were hoping to use them for Navigator next week but I'm now leaning towards just testing at the airport to ensure we have the required tests.  Thanks!

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3 hours ago, recogneyes said:

I remember you sharing this!  When I called Royal I was told unless the SH test is US FDA approved they will not accept it.  They are made by a company called Lucira and their PCR proctored test has the approval but not this one.   Can you recall if the boarding agent made any notice of these being home proctored tests?  We were hoping to use them for Navigator next week but I'm now leaning towards just testing at the airport to ensure we have the required tests.  Thanks!

We used antigen, not PCR for boarding for my husband and I.   We did antigen tests at the airport for the kids because one wasn't fully vaxxed when we sailed (unvaxxed travellers can't use the switch tests - and this was prior to RCCL requiring PCR for unvaxxed kiddos).   The Switch Health Antigen tests are approved in the US.   We didn't have an issue boarding the aircraft, nor did we have an issue at the port.    Honestly I think they just wanted a piece of paper that said negative and wasn't hand written.

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20 minutes ago, DJsMrs said:

We used antigen, not PCR for boarding for my husband and I.   We did antigen tests at the airport for the kids because one wasn't fully vaxxed when we sailed (unvaxxed travellers can't use the switch tests - and this was prior to RCCL requiring PCR for unvaxxed kiddos).   The Switch Health Antigen tests are approved in the US.   We didn't have an issue boarding the aircraft, nor did we have an issue at the port.    Honestly I think they just wanted a piece of paper that said negative and wasn't hand written.

I'm so glad you didn't have any issues with using the SH antigen ones.  Nowhere on the packaging does it say they have US FDA approval and they are not listed on the FDA's website as approved tests.  They are approved to fly into the US but no mention of cruise line acceptance.  Royal's website states that any international home test kits must be FDA approved hence the concern - one agent may say ok go, and another may not.  These would be ordered in abundance for CDN cruisers if we could get an absolute from RCCL.  

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19 minutes ago, recogneyes said:

I'm so glad you didn't have any issues with using the SH antigen ones.  Nowhere on the packaging does it say they have US FDA approval and they are not listed on the FDA's website as approved tests.  They are approved to fly into the US but no mention of cruise line acceptance.  Royal's website states that any international home test kits must be FDA approved hence the concern - one agent may say ok go, and another may not.  These would be ordered in abundance for CDN cruisers if we could get an absolute from RCCL.  

I would argue that if they're good enough for customs they would be good enough for the airline.   We're using them again in April.   Lots of people have used them and haven't had issues - but ultimately the decision is yours.  

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1 hour ago, DJsMrs said:

I would argue that if they're good enough for customs they would be good enough for the airline.   We're using them again in April.   Lots of people have used them and haven't had issues - but ultimately the decision is yours.  

What I'm saying is yes, they are good enough for customs and the airline - gov't of canada website has announced that they are approved.  It's RCCL that is saying they are not approved to board their ships.  I called twice and was told no both times.  More than likely, the agents wouldn't even realize it was a home test but just a bit nerve racking to be told no at the pier and then have to leave to get tested.  Thanks for all your info!

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2 hours ago, recogneyes said:

What I'm saying is yes, they are good enough for customs and the airline - gov't of canada website has announced that they are approved.  It's RCCL that is saying they are not approved to board their ships.  I called twice and was told no both times.  More than likely, the agents wouldn't even realize it was a home test but just a bit nerve racking to be told no at the pier and then have to leave to get tested.  Thanks for all your info!

Totally - I hear you.    I meant to say it was good enough for US customs - we needed negative tests to board our flight out of YVR to MCO, and Westjet was definitely checking test results very carefully...  If I had pushback at the ship this would be my argument.   How can it be good enough for CBP and not for RCCL - it's ridiculous.   Worst case scenario they have testing at the port ... definitely a stressful start to the cruise though.

 

Will you update us here?   I'm definitely using them for our April trip and hadn't even considered that it would be an issue - so I'll be interested to see if  you hear/see anything different...  Bon Voyage!

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2 hours ago, recogneyes said:

What I'm saying is yes, they are good enough for customs and the airline - gov't of canada website has announced that they are approved.  It's RCCL that is saying they are not approved to board their ships.  I called twice and was told no both times.  More than likely, the agents wouldn't even realize it was a home test but just a bit nerve racking to be told no at the pier and then have to leave to get tested.  Thanks for all your info!

My friend... I think you are overthinking this.. lol

But to help you sleep better, I did a bit of research for you on a slow work day... If you go to the approved list of COVID testing devices for Health Canada AND the FDA Approved list of COVID testing devices, the switch health antigen kit are both there - if you search the right term.

SwitchHealth are simply a distributor, and the manufacturer of the Antigen kits are SD Biosensor.

Here are your sources:

Read the SwitchHealth footnote on the antigen kit:

https://www.switchhealth.ca/en/partners/aeroplan/

Here is the Canada Health site with full list of approved devices:

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/medical-devices/authorized/list.html

Here is the FDA site with full list of approved devices:

https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-emergency-use-authorizations-medical-devices/in-vitro-diagnostics-euas-antigen-diagnostic-tests-sars-cov-2

 

 

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57 minutes ago, DJsMrs said:

Totally - I hear you.    I meant to say it was good enough for US customs - we needed negative tests to board our flight out of YVR to MCO, and Westjet was definitely checking test results very carefully...  If I had pushback at the ship this would be my argument.   How can it be good enough for CBP and not for RCCL - it's ridiculous.   Worst case scenario they have testing at the port ... definitely a stressful start to the cruise though.

 

Will you update us here?   I'm definitely using them for our April trip and hadn't even considered that it would be an issue - so I'll be interested to see if  you hear/see anything different...  Bon Voyage!

It's all just exhausting isn't it!  While I've ordered a bunch of the SH tests, we are going to err on the side of caution and test at Pearson and YVR (flying in from different cities) and just not have the stress of wondering if the SH tests will be accepted.  I will ask at the piers (this time Navigator / San Pedro) and in March Anthem / NJ) if they have any knowledge of these tests.  There will be a lot of Canadians using them I'm sure!  One thought I did have was if a bunch of us email Royal with the same request - will they accept SH / Health Canada approved proctored via telehealth antigen tests and if so if they could post that on their website for clarity then that would help us all in the many months ahead where I can't see testing going away.

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On 2/16/2022 at 2:17 PM, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I think we are going to give it a go for Oasis 3/13 in a few weeks. Seems to be the easiest option.

More than likely you will be fine - at least you know there is testing at the pier if they give you any pushback.  Good luck!!

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1 hour ago, SaveTheSharks said:

My friend... I think you are overthinking this.. lol

But to help you sleep better, I did a bit of research for you on a slow work day... If you go to the approved list of COVID testing devices for Health Canada AND the FDA Approved list of COVID testing devices, the switch health antigen kit are both there - if you search the right term.

SwitchHealth are simply a distributor, and the manufacturer of the Antigen kits are SD Biosensor.

Here are your sources:

Read the SwitchHealth footnote on the antigen kit:

https://www.switchhealth.ca/en/partners/aeroplan/

Here is the Canada Health site with full list of approved devices:

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/medical-devices/authorized/list.html

Here is the FDA site with full list of approved devices:

https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-emergency-use-authorizations-medical-devices/in-vitro-diagnostics-euas-antigen-diagnostic-tests-sars-cov-2

 

 

Thank you - yes, SH,  Aeroplan and now the Canada travel website all give clarity that these tests can be used for travel to the US which is great. While SH tests are manufactured by SD Biosensor which is stated on the back of the box,  I called and emailed SH back in January for our last cruise and was told they do not have any record of their tests having FDA emergency use approval. This was after checking with a few people.  I emailed them and referenced the approval that is listed in the FDA link you provided and never heard back. 

The pier agents have a lot to deal with  and now we are asking them to refer to product manufacturing websites to try determine which international home tests are approved.  I agree, we shouldn't have to over think this - but it needs to be clearer so that families do not pay $40 per test thinking they are good and then having to pay at the pier should they not be accepted.  Just trying to save us all from that headache and expense.  Logically, it all makes sense that these tests should be accepted. 

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35 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Oh no, I'm going to Shopper's Drug Mart for pre-cruise test.  I will use Switch Health for the way home.

OH.....I thought you were going to give it a whirl - Same price - just not worth thinking about it.  Shoppers provides all the paperwork needed for flight and cruise - good plan.

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On 2/16/2022 at 2:17 PM, Lovetocruise2002 said:

I think we are going to give it a go for Oasis 3/13 in a few weeks. Seems to be the easiest option.

I got an extra kit to take on our Celebrity cruise which leaves on Friday next week. I will be doing this exercise on March 6th...the 'day before' our flight back. If nobody else gets this done before me, I will have an answer for you on or about March 7th. 

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