The federal government’s ‘free Covid-19 tests’ are now arriving. None of these tests work for travel to enter the U.S. on their own. However it’s possible to make some of them – including the ones that I received – work if you know what to look for.
- CovidTests.gov will send you to the U.S. Postal Service to place an order.
- They’re offering four tests per residential address and expect to ship in 7 to 12 days after ordering. I received mine six days after ordering.
And, in fact, I received five tests. That’s a mistake, or just a week’s worth of inflation these days I suppose.
Or maybe administration sent 5 because of inflation? pic.twitter.com/UyMWy22YfR
— gary leff (@garyleff) January 24, 2022
These free tests – on their own – are not valid for travel. That’s because self-tests used for entry into the United States are required to be proctored (e.g. video monitoring, either via a computer or app) and these do not come with proctoring.
The good news, however, is that depending on the tests you receive you may be able to purchase monitoring for them. Luckily the FlowFlex tests I was sent can be proctored by Azova for $20 each. Not all tests are set up for this. For instance, I haven’t seen any proctoring available for the iHealth tests some are receiving – please flag in the comments if you’ve found an option for this.
— Steven Buss 🥑 🌐 (@sbuss) January 25, 2022
There’s also reports of a Roche test as well.
— Trey Csar (@TreyCsar) January 24, 2022
I’m doubly fortunate to not just have received a test valid for travel (with add-on proctoring) but that’s also eligible for travel for a child under 4. The BinaxNOW tests are only approved for age 4 and up. (For my daughter I’ve had Qured tests.)
Have you gotten your four (or five) free tests? What brand did you receive?