A negative PCR test can clear you for travel
(Getty and Business Insider)
  • If you have at least five people who need it, a visa company will now send someone to your door to collect samples for a coronavirus test, at R1,040 per person.
  • Test results will be available within 48 hours, it says.
  • Some countries are making such tests mandatory before you depart for international travel, VFS says.
  • But you can use the service even if you don't intend to travel abroad.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

If you have a group of at least five people who want coronavirus tests, you can now have someone come to you for "doorstep" sample collection.

That will cost you R1,040 per person, or R1,020 each if you have a group of more than 20, and results will be available within 48 hours, the providers promise.

Such a service is necessary as borders reopen and some countries require proof of a negative test for the virus that causes Covid-19 before departure, says visa company VFS Global.

But the service is also available to those who have no immediate intention to travel.

VFS is managing bookings, while the tests themselves and sample collections are done by laboratory chain PathCare.

The PCR test offered is significantly more expensive than antibody tests, which are now also widely available in South Africa, but is considered the gold standard in detection of active cases.

See also | You can now get a Covid-19 antibody test for R230, with results in 24 hours

Even now, with global travel still very limited, "pre-departure Covid-19 testing solutions are already being made mandatory by some countries, while others are considering implementing them for all incoming travellers to ease the pressure of on-arrival testing," says VFS.

Bookings for tests at laboratories around the country can be made online at the VFS website. Doorstep testing was not available for online booking, but VFS said it is managing appointments by phone, on 012 425 3053, and via email at covidtest.sa@vfshelpline.com.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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