All about Corona tests in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
corona tests options and requirements

Corona tests are an important tool in the fight against the virus. However, testing is no longer only done in case of symptoms. Or, indeed when someone has come into contact with a person who has tested positive. 

Currently, the second most important motivation for taking a Covid-19 test is a holiday. Since countries started imposing travel restrictions to prevent travellers from bringing the coronavirus or new variants home from their holiday destination, pre-trip testing has become commonplace. But just as it has become commonplace, the range of tests and companies is massive, it is a test ‘jungle’. 

This is not least due to the variety of travel restrictions different countries impose on tourists. But also the fact those measures change so often. Some countries will be satisfied with an antigen test taken up to 48 hours in advance. However, another country may want a negative PCR test and also requires a period of quarantine after arrival. Furthermore, countries can also set requirements for the type of test whose negative result is accepted for travel.  It is no wonder everyone is confused!

Various Corona tests 

The PCR polymerase chain reaction test 

The PCR test is the most widely used and most reliable test. This specifically shows pieces of the genetic material of the coronavirus SARS severe acute respiratory syndrome -CoV coronavirus-2. A sample is taken from the nose and throat with a cotton swab. Or a saliva test is taken: the person to be tested spits into a tube. This goes to a lab. The PCR test has a high test sensitivity. This means this test also picks up the virus in someone who still has little or no virus. 

LAMP test 

The LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) test, like the PCR test, is a form of testing in which pieces of genetic material are copied or multiplied. However, the way this is done in the LAMP assay is completely different from the PCR. This test method is faster than the PCR test. The LAMP test requires different equipment and substances than PCR tests so that they complement each other in this respect in case of scarcity and do not compete. 

The antigen test 

The antigen test detects SARS-CoV-2 antigens in nasal and/or throat mucus. If you’re carrying the virus, the antigen test will quickly show you; usually fifteen minutes after applying the sample to the test cassette. The test can also be used outside the laboratory. The antigen test is less sensitive than the PCR test. The antigen test is often negative, especially if few virus particles are present (such as at the very beginning of infection or just at the end of it). Therefore, when few virus particles are present, someone may incorrectly receive a negative test result. Whereas the person may actually have (had) COVID-19. However, someone can also test a false positive. The result indicates an infection, while that is not the case. 

Self-test (antigen) 

An antigen self-test is a corona test that you can buy in a store or pharmacy and take yourself. Self-tests are intended for people without complaints, as a supplement with which otherwise unnoticed infections can be detected. Self-tests are not intended for people: 

  • with symptoms
  • who had contact with someone with corona
  • returning from a high-risk area

Self-tests are less reliable than a PCR or antigen test taken by a professional. There is therefore a chance that someone will receive a negative test result, even though that person may be infected with SARS-CoV 2. And, as such, could possibly transmit the virus to others.

Cogesa Expats

One reason for this may be because people don’t stick a cotton swab in their nose as far as someone else would. In this case, a Salvia (saliva) self-test can be a solution. Moreover, a positive self-test result should always be confirmed with a professionally administered PCR or Antigen test at a health service. 

Travelling to Spain 

Spain requires a vaccination certificate, recovery certificate or test certificate from travellers aged 12 years and older. That test evidence includes a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours, or; a negative antigen test not older than 48 hours. You may travel to Spain with a NAAT (PCR, TMA, LAMP) test or an antigen rapid test. A self-test does not meet the requirements. 

Travelling from Spain to other countries 

Rules state that before returning to the UK, travellers must take a Covid-19 test in the three days before they are due to depart. Arrivals from Spain and all its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible. Those who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus do not need to quarantine or take a day eight test after arriving in England.Click here for the travel advice from the UK Government.  Please note, however, different rules may apply for those arriving in Wales, Scotland, andNorthern Ireland

Via this link, you can find the information for travelling between Spain and the United States and here from the Canadian government. For travelling between Spain and Canadaclick here 

From whichever country you depart, be sure to check on beforehand the travel advice from the health authorities of your country to Spain.  

Testing at Salutlabs in Spain 

In order not to get lost in the test jungle in Spain, a Dutch company has a good solution. That’s good news for those staying in Spain in Barcelona (including the surrounding area), Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca, Formentera or the Costa del Sol (between Marbella and Sotogrande). In these areas, Salutlabs delivers a hassle-free, reliable Covid-19 test to your holiday accommodation. This also applies if you are staying in holiday accommodation such as a hotel, an apartment complex or a holiday villa. Even on your yacht that is anchored in one of the ports in the above areas, the Salutlabs drivers know where to find you. 

Test-kit delivered at your holiday accommodation 

A Salutlabs employee provides a do-it-yourself test kit containing a non-invasive PCR saliva test or antigen test. After testing, the driver takes the test kit back and takes it to the laboratory. This way you are ready in 15 minutes and you do not have to wait for a single moment. You can do something else or enjoy your holiday for a while before you have to get back on the plane. Salutlabs guarantees to let you know the test result within 24 hours. Not only that, you will also receive an officially approved travel certificate by email. 

Book a test at Salutlabs 

You can easily book your test via the website. Select the day and time you want to have the COVID-19 test delivered to your home. There you also leave your address and telephone number so that the driver can deliver the test on time and can call for locations that may be difficult to find. If you enter your postcode on the website, you can check whether Salutlabs can deliver to your home. See the website for prices (including a valid travel certificate). Payment is easy online with a credit card or iDeal. 

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