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SFO to Launch Free COVID Testing Program for Arriving International Passengers

The San Francisco International Airport (SFO) announced today it is the first airport in the United States to launch a free COVID-19 testing program for international arriving passengers, hosting a pilot test program with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The program will equip travelers with registered self-testing kits allowing the CDPH to monitor for COVID-19 variants in the state and develop mitigation strategies.

“We are proud to be the first airport in this pilot program with the California Department of Public Health,” said SFO Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “Throughout this pandemic, SFO has been leading the airport industry in developing onsite testing and vaccination capabilities. With this program, we take another important step forward in understanding how to track and defeat this pandemic.”

“This program ensures travelers will only bring back pleasant memories from their trip and not create unpleasant ones by unknowingly contracting or spreading COVID-19,” said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. “CDPH continues to urge all Californians to protect yourself, family, friends, and your community by getting vaccinated.”
How It Works

Under the program, arriving international passengers at SFO will be provided two free Abbot BinaxNOWTM test kits and a PCR test kit. The first test is to be self-administered on the day of arrival, and the second test 3-5 days later. The Abbot BinaxNOWTM test kits return results in about 15 minutes. If either result in a positive test, the participant will be directed to use the PCR test and send results into a state laboratory monitoring variants of COVID-19.

The program is voluntary and is expected to run for approximately five weeks.

Iuliia Tore