Why is a travel certificate / medical certificate required before a trip & what do you need to think about?
Travel certificate / medical certificate is a certificate that you do not have one ongoing Covid-19 infection. Due to the pandemic, such a certificate may be necessary when entering a majority of the countries of the world. The countries primarily require one intyg due to the legitimate interest in a limited spread of infection. In addition to that reason, they also want to reduce the risk of a new mutation gaining a foothold in the country. Even if your test for Covid-19 turns out to be negative, it is still important to take precautions and to travel responsibly. Remember to follow local restrictions where you travel and stay. A responsible lease can, for example, mean avoiding large crowds, using mouth guards and being immediately quarantined in the event of symptoms. For example, respiratory symptoms. As a traveler, you have a responsibility to find out about the local restrictions on your destination. You also have an obligation to follow these local restrictions.
When obtaining a travel certificate, it is important to keep in mind a number of things. On the one hand, countries have varying requirements on the type of test required and, on the other hand, different rules regarding the period of validity before departure. In other words, in case of premature sampling, there is a risk of covid-19 infection before departure despite a negative test. This is something that the countries regulate in their requirements for travel certificates / medical certificates.
Accepted tests for travel certificates
The tests for Covid-19 that are normally accepted by the countries of the world for issuing travel certificates are antigen tests and or PCR tests. At present, most countries require a PCR test that has greater certainty in the assay response compared to the antigen test (which some countries accept, however). One possible development is that countries in the future will also accept antibody tests when a larger part of the world's population has been vaccinated. The simpler antigen test has a relatively rapid analysis time and does not need to be sent to a laboratory, which is required for PCR testing. Companies responsible for issuing travel certificates usually send PCR tests to accredited laboratories where they undergo analysis before test results are given and a medical certificate / travel certificate can be issued.
Since PCR tests require analysis in a laboratory that involves a relatively long response time, it is important that you plan for your sampling well in advance. The most optimal is that the test is carried out a couple of days before the trip to get the test answer on time. Also keep in mind that any delays may occur during weekends and red days with longer response times as a result. Even for you without a Swedish social security number, the response time may be slightly longer, as samples can only be analyzed in certain laboratories. But keep in mind that you do not test yourself too early and thus risk exceeding the national requirements regarding validity as mentioned above.
Period of validity
The validity period for antigen tests and PCR tests is usually 24, 48 or 72 hours. But local regulations exist and it is important that you stay informed about what applies before your destination and at your planned destination. You can find more information on Sweden abroad / UD's website. https://www.swedenabroad.se/
We will probably live with the consequences of Covid-19 in relation to our travel for a long time. But hopefully simplified processes, vaccine passes, etc. will make the processes smoother over time. Our goal is to update you with what applies in general, but do not forget to check what exactly your destination requires before departure.