Traveling Overseas: Which Countries Require A PCR Test

Sunday, September 12, 2021

The whole idea behind traveling overseas either for fun, work, tourism, or just to relax seems extremely exciting. One might need to for many reasons such as for experience, a change in weather, or to visit monuments and tourist attractions. However, a country’s PCR test requirement may limit your trip to just your imagination.

How Does A PCR Test Affect My Trip?

PCR, which is short for Polymerase Chain Reaction, is a fast and highly accurate way to diagnose a couple of infectious diseases and genetic changes. The tests work by finding the DNA or RNA of a pathogen (disease-causing organism) or abnormal cells in a sample.

Unlike many other tests, PCR tests can find evidence of disease even at the earliest stages of infection.

Other tests have the probability of missing out on early signs of disease because there aren't enough viruses, bacteria, or other pathogens in the sample or because your body hasn't had enough time to develop an antibody response. Antibodies are proteins formed by your immune system to attack foreign substances, such as viruses and bacteria, from harming you. PCR tests can detect a disease even when there is only a minimal amount of pathogens in your body. 

How Much Do PCR Tests Cost?

PCR tests do not generally come cheap. For many countries, there is an exuberant amount of VAT (value-added tax) included in every PCR test carried out, further increasing the cost of conducting a PCR test. The test price could cause a strain on the finances of travelers, especially those traveling on a budget. Furthermore, it is almost impossible for travelers to realize their dreams and imaginations due to the excessive amount that a PCR test costs. 

Due to this, several countries and genetic testing/digital health companies such as Prenetics have found ways to reduce the cost of PCR testing to make them more affordable for travelers. One smart way is by reducing VAT. This step is excellent at generally reducing the price of a PCR test. A prominent campaign is currently run by Avi Lasarow, CEO Europeinfo-icon, Middle Eastinfo-icon & Africainfo-icon at Prenetics, for people to go on holidays overseas without breaking the bank. If the campaign is successful, it’ll help residents in the UKinfo-icon get cheaper PCR tests, further reducing their vacation and other international travel costs.

Countries and PCR testing

Here’s a list of some European countries and what they charge for a PCR test.


In Austria, there are few Antigen tests carried out at pharmacies free of charge for tourists. However, to get a PCR test, it goes for 69 euros. At Vienna Airport, such a test costs 69 euros, while the antigen test goes for 25 euros.


One will spend a minimum of 55 euros and up to 120 euros for a faster result to have standard PCR tests conducted in Belgium. Antigen tests, on the other hand, cost a maximum of 120 euros. At the airport in Brussels, these tests are usually more affordable and cost just 55 euros.

Czech Republicinfo-icon

The Czech Ministry of Health has a rule for the maximum prices these tests can go for. An antigen test costs approximately 7.81 euros in the country's currency. A PCR test, on the other hand, goes for 23.99 euros. It is important to note that there is an additional charge of around 7.85 euros for taking the sample.


At the Helsinki airport, a rapid antigen test goes for a whopping 179 euros. There are 149 euros per person for two to four people and 135 euros for five or more people. However, the PCR test costs 265 euros at the airport; the rapid PCR test is 300 euros. Very close to the airport, private service providers offer tests for a fee; however, coronavirus tests are costly.


Unlike other countries in Europe, if you are coming in as a tourist, the coronavirus test is free on arrival. However, to leave the country, you have to pay about 96 euros.


The government of Hungary has set a maximum price of 55 euros for a PCR test, while an Antigen test is offered for around 25 euros to just under 41 euros.


Individual regions set the prices here. For example, an antigen test costs between 20 and 50 euros and a PCR test between 50 and 120 euros; it depends on the region you visit. 

It is pretty unpleasant to learn that apart from the price you have to pay to travel, you also have to pay outrageously to undergo specific tests so that you can be proved worthy of gaining access to your dream location. So it will be a significant step to help travelers achieve their dreams of the VAT set on PCR test is looked into and reduced drastically.