Utah launches test-to-travel pilot program
SALT LAKE CITY – Starting Monday, Utahns needing a negative COVID-19 test to travel to certain destinations will have an easier time getting a quick test result thanks to a pilot test-to-travel program.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for Utahns who are traveling to get those tests before they leave so that they don’t get held up or stuck at airports,” Gov. Spencer Cox said after announcing the new program during his monthly PBS Utah press conference.
With the holidays approaching, Cox said he recognizes that many Utahns will resume travel and that the test-to-travel program will provide quick test results required by certain destinations.
The Utah Department of Health will offer a dedicated testing lane to travelers at the Cannon Health Building, located at 288 North 1460 West in Salt Lake City. The building was chosen because of its proximity to the city’s international airport.
“We’re trying to be responsive to some of the feedback that we’ve heard from the community,” said Tom Hudachko, the department’s director of communications.
The tests will be free of charge for Utah residents. Non-residents will be required to pay a $179 fee, according to the health department.
“You will be required to show proof of travel, so a boarding pass, an itinerary, something like that to get through that particular line,” Hudachko said.
The test-to-travel program will offer rapid antigen, rapid PCR and routine PCR tests.
“Our test sites can’t be responsible to know what’s required at every destination everywhere in the world,” Cox said. “That’s up to the traveler to know what kind of test that they need.”
Hudachko said the health department wants to see how the test-to-travel program is utilized before making a decision about whether or not it will be expanded to other locations.
“If you are traveling, the first thing you should be doing is familiarizing yourself with the requirements of the destination where you are going,” Hudachko said.
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