Passengers will have the option of getting either a PCR test or a rapid antigen test.

By Alison Fox
September 30, 2020
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Tampa International Airport will begin offering travelers COVID-19 testing in the terminal on Thursday, in an effort to give passengers flying in and out of the Florida city peace of mind and make traveling to destinations that require proof of a negative test easier.

Passengers will have the option of getting either a PCR test, which is a nasal swab and the most accurate test, or a rapid antigen test, the airport announced on Tuesday. The tests will be done on a walk-in basis and are part of a pilot program that will run through the end of October.

“As a gateway to the West Coast of Florida with a growing market for international travel, Tampa International Airport has a responsibility to explore safe, rapid and affordable ways to keep our travelers, their destinations and our community as safe and healthy as possible,” TPA CEO Joe Lopano said in a statement. “We’re thankful to our partners... in helping us create a pilot program that gives us a step in the right direction, as well as providing a valuable service to our passengers.”

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The testing site will be located inside the Main Terminal near the Airside F shuttle and open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Any ticketed passenger with proof of travel who has flown or is planning to fly within three days will be able to access it. The tests will cost $125 for the PCR test (which the testing company BayCare said takes about 48 hours for result) and $57 for the rapid test.

Tampa isn’t the only airport to look to test travelers. In August, New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo said JFK and LaGuardia airports would have testing sites as well in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Several airlines have said they plan to offer passengers the option to get a test for COVID-19 before flying including American Airlines, United, and Lufthansa. Emirates also started offering rapid tests to passengers there back in April.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.