I just returned to the United States and I am writing this article in hopes of helping others save money, time, and confusion! As of Today, a valid PCR/Antigen test is required to enter the states.
I stayed in Puerto Vallarta and Mexico City. Both of these cities offer COVID testing at their airport terminals!
These are pictures inside of the airport. The Covid testing is located outside.
Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR):
-The COVID testing is right outside of the airport. You will see a white tent that says, ‘COVID testing’. Confirm with your airline which test is accepted (some airlines are VERY strict). The costs vary and depend on which test you are taking. A friend of mine flew United Airlines and took the rapid test for USD 30. They received their results in less than thirty minutes (via email).
Because this airport is small, I recommend going to the airport the day before just to make sure you can get the test done. I say that because the lines were very long and you do not want to go the day of and risk missing a flight.
My friend’s flight back to the United States was on Sunday. Most of the pharmacies go by appointment only and pharmacies are not opened on Sundays. That can be an issue for a lot of travelers who need to get the results within the 72 hour departure time frame! My friend and I called around and a few pharmacy assistants informed us that it’s best to schedule the appointment at least two days before you want to take the test!
The pharmacy’s prices vary and depend on which one you go to as well as what kind of test you are taking. I have noticed that the rapid test is always cheaper.
Keep that in mind in case your airline does require you to take the PCR test (results take 24-48 hours)
Mexico City was my departure city heading back to the United States. I did Google and notice that their ‘Farmacias’ (pharmacies) offer the covid tests with no appointment required! This can be handy that way you do not have to go back to the airport.
I did walk to a few of the Farmacias (pharmacies) and was told that not all of them performed the COVID test.
Finally, one of the workers called around and found out that the one located in Uruguay does them! The test is cheaper here versus the airport but I ended up going to the airport and I will tell you why!
Mexico City International Airport (MEX):
I decided to take my COVID tests at the airport! I flew Delta and confirmed with them the VIA phone that the rapid test was accepted! On the MEX airport website, it mentions the COVID test is located in Terminal 1, this is where things can get a bit tricky (especially if you are running late)
If you do plan on taking the test at the airport, arrive no later than 3 hours before your flight! FYI: traffic in Mexico City is TERRIBLE! My hotel was only ten miles away and it took over thirty minutes to get to the airport around 10:00 am! Traffic is so unpredictable.
Also get there early, because you have to take the COVID test, check-in with an agent, and fill out new paperwork required by Mexico and Delta! Those forms are located right before you can check-in at the counter and speak to an agent.
Delta is located in Terminal two, so keep that in mind because you have to take a tram to get to that terminal. It is located a few minutes via tram from Terminal one.
I spoke to an airport information employee who told me that this was the cheapest COVID testing lab in the airport! She was nice enough to take me directly where it was located.
When you get dropped off, you have to take the escalator up to the next floor.
Then you will see a cross-bridge (white) that takes you to the other side of the airport.
They accept VISA, Mastercard, USD cash, and Pesos! I paid $30.20 for my test! I got my results in about fifteen minutes! The laboratory was so nice and accommodating! It was no wait and the test itself took about thirty seconds!
I was informed that I would get my results via email or I could wait there for fifteen minutes and get the actual paper. I opted for BOTH. MEX airport wifi and connection is very spotty so you do not want to risk walking to your proper terminal and not getting the email due to service or connection issues!
I have AT&T (I-phone 11 pro max) and still experienced spotty LTE service…
After getting my results, I took the tram to terminal two. When I got there, I noticed that Delta’s terminal had signed up for the COVID test as well! The price was not listed nor did I manage to see exactly where they were issuing the tests!
Give yourself some time just in case of traffic, long COVID lines, etc.
Terminal one is generally for locals who are traveling and I presume that is why I was able to get my test done with no wait!!!
Because they are traveling local and are not required to do a test, perhaps that is why there was no wait? Delta/Air Mexico’s terminal is PACKED!!! I can only imagine how long the wait is for a COVID test…I can only presume based on the number of people I saw flying that day as well as the traveling to countries that require the test.