Coronavirus testing is almost a requirement for travel today. From airport testing to upon arrival testing to before departure testing, travelers who want to cross borders have to pay attention to coronavirus requirements at multiple points in their journey.

But are these tests inspiring traveler confidence? According to the 2021 Global Rescue Travel Survey, which asked current and past members, the answer is: no.

By a 2-to-1 margin, negative COVID-19 tests do not make travelers feel safer compared to getting a coronavirus vaccine. Seventy three percent of respondents would feel safer during a trip if they had a COVID-19 vaccine compared to only 36% who would feel safer if they had a negative PCR COVID-19 test result before reaching their destination.

Travelers (69%) also want other travelers to be vaccinated.

Worried About Finding Facilities

Government and health officials from several countries have implemented requirements for residents and non-residents to have a negative viral tests before entering their countries. Canada announced in February all air travelers arriving in Canada, with limited exceptions, must reserve a room in a Government of Canada-approved hotel for three nights at their own cost and take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival at their own cost.

Finding a testing facility is what worries travelers — 15% of respondents admitted they don’t know what they would do.

When asked how they would find a facility, additional answers included 21% relying on tour operators, 21% asking their travel agents, 18% would rely on destination resources (18%), 16% would find one on their own and 9% would ask their insurance provider.

Fortunately, travelers are willing to share the results of their negative COVID-19 PCR test in order to travel, with only 17% preferring not to share with any government agency, airline or transportation provider. Travelers say they will share test results with the following:

  • a destination country’s government: 73%
  • a home government: 54%
  • a commercial airline 67%
  • hotel, Airbnb, train, cruise ships, etc.: 39%
  • a tour operator: 30%
  • a travel agent: 15%

“Traveler trust in the efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccination understandably surpasses that of a negative coronavirus test since the former prevents against an occurrence and the latter only detects if an individual has been infected by the virus,” said Global Rescue CEO Dan Richards.

About the Global Rescue Traveler Survey 

Global Rescue, a leading travel risk and crisis response provider, conducted a survey of more than 2,000 of its current and former members between Jan. 26-31, 2021. Respondents revealed a range of support for travel expectations, behaviors and safety concerns in anticipation of a return to leisure and business trips domestically and internationally.