New Plan B for travelers to the US

COVID-19 tests are now being offered at Mérida´s airport

Insertion of the cotton swab can be uncomfortable but only takes 15 seconds. Photo: File
Insertion of the cotton swab can be uncomfortable but only takes 15 seconds. Photo: File

Passengers to the US now have a new COVID-19 testing option when departing from Mérida.

Travelers wanting to get tested at the airport will be required to show their itinerary and boarding pass. 

The test, administered by DQ Mérida Integral, is designed to detect antigens and requires the insertion of a special 6-inch cotton swab in the nasal cavity.

The cost of the COVID-19 test costs 673 pesos, and results are delivered within half an hour through a hard copy as well as email. 

Testing at the airport is a convenient alternative for passengers to the US who are lacking documentation of a negative blood test, said the regional director of Grupo Asur, Héctor Navarrete Muñoz.

Currently, American authorities require passengers entering their respective countries to provide proof that they are not carrying the COVID-19 virus. 

Similar testing facilities have been installed at airports throughout Mexico. On Twitter, commenters perceived a double standard, believing that testing in Mexico should be obligatory regardless of point of origin or destination.

This sentiment is echoed by the results of a Twitter poll conducted by Televisa Veracruz which asked users if Mexico should require negative COVID-19 tests to enter the country. An overwhelming majority of respondents said “sí.”  

A previous version of this story erroneously stated that the testing module was also for Canadian passengers.

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.