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"Whether Free, Affordable or Pricey, Testing Requirements can Include a Headache"

The New York Times interviewed Dr. Gerald Kominski, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health professor of health policy and management, about the widely varying costs of COVID tests for consumers

Saturday, October 16, 2021

For those who have been traveling internationally during the pandemic, getting a coronavirus test has become an integral part of the process. Many countries, including the United States, require a negative test result for entry, which has forced travel agents, hoteliers and others to establish testing and authentication procedures and, in many cases, to work together to ease the process for travelers.

As testing requirements have become more ubiquitous, so have testing centers and services catering to them, with little or no current regulation on what they charge. Depending on where they are going, travelers can find tests for free or must pay up to hundreds of dollars — an expense for which they haven’t necessarily budgeted.

For Princess François-Estévez, 32, an assistant principal at a Brooklyn high school, the cost of testing was a consideration when choosing the destination for her bachelorette party. Ms. François-Estévez said her group of friends weighed the cost of airfare, lodging and testing to narrow down their choices. They considered going to Antigua before learning that a test at the affordable hotel they had found would cost them $200 per person.