PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests have been designed to find genetic material called RNA that tells the virus to make these proteins. This test is the most accurate Covid-19 test. When swabs are taken for PCR tests, reagents are used to convert the RNA into DNA in order to identify any infection within the patient. Antigen tests have been designed to find proteins on the surface of the virus to identify the pathogen. Antigen tests are often called rapid tests or lateral flow tests and are carried out by mixing the sample with a solution where it releases the viral proteins. The combination is normally applied on a paper strip that will be able to detect any antibodies that bind the protein. To put it simply – there is no difference between a rapid antigen and a lateral flow test! Rapid testing uses the well-established lateral flow technology to detect proteins or antigens that are present when a person is infected with COVID-19.
Accepted pre-cruise antigen tests:
- Antigen Lateral Flow
- Rapid antigen test
- Viral antigen test
- Antigen Chromatographic Digital Immunoassay
- Antigen Chemiluminescence Immunoassay
Pre-boarding testing requirements vary depending on the cruise line, airline, and the destination you are travelling to. Please make sure you read the health protocols and testing/vaccination policies required for your departure. The cruise lines will normally require you to do one of the tests mentioned above (PCR or Antigen), please follow the guidelines and do the right test for your holiday.
We have recently partnered with Chronomics to provide our guests with a reliable testing provider for travel. To log in to Chronomics please enter the first 6 digits of your Planet Cruise booking reference.
If you would like to check the testing guidance for a specific country please visit Foreign Travel Advice.