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NYC-area airports just introduced another important COVID safety precaution

Sept. 09, 2020
4 min read
NYC-area airports just introduced another important COVID safety precaution
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Due to the pandemic, the travel experience looks a lot different nowadays.

Since March, airlines and airports have implemented a full suite of health-focused enhancements aimed at making travel as safe as it can be. We've seen mask requirements, touchless check-in and boarding changes and more.

Frequent COVID testing is perhaps one of the best ways to monitor and control the spread of the virus. Plus, for many countries, you'll be required to show a recent negative test upon entry.

That's one of the reasons why airports around the world have begun to add on-site testing facilities. Now on Wednesday (Sept. 9), Newark becomes the latest airport to open a COVID testing site open to passengers.

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XpresCheck, a fully owned subsidiary of XpresSpa, first opened a COVID-19 testing center in Newark's Terminal B on Aug. 20. The center launched in a pilot phase for airport employees only. The pilot appears to have been successful since the XpressCheck location has now started to welcome passengers. (JFK has had an XpresCheck facility open in Terminal 4 since June 29.)

Both antibody and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing are available on-site. Specimens are sent to one of three outside laboratories: Enzo, Quest and Northwell Health. You can expect results for the PCR test anywhere from two to five days after testing.

XpresCheck is slated to introduce rapid COVID testing within weeks. According to CEO Doug Satzman, "there will be a fast, 15-minute test available later this month." The Abbott ID Now system will allow the center to handle even more passengers than before.

The XpresCheck location is located on the third level of Terminal B on the south side of the building. The modular site has space for up to nine private testing rooms. All visitors will have their temperatures checked before entering the testing center.

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Passengers can walk-in or schedule appointments for the testing center online at xprescheck.com. XpresCheck charges $75 for one test or $90 for both the antibody and PCR test. All insurance plans are accepted outside of network, and all information will remain private and HIPAA-compliant.

The in-airport XpresCheck outpost is definitely a convenient testing option for those passing through the airport. However, with long turnaround times, flyers likely won't be able to use the center before jetting off to a different country that requires proof of a negative test upon arrival. Perhaps the new rapid test will help, but many countries still don't accept rapid tests as adequate proof of being virus-free.

Related: Getting a coronavirus test for travel is getting easier — but isn’t yet a guarantee

XpresCheck is the latest safety-focused innovation coming to NYC-area airports. According to Huntley Lawrence, director of aviation for the Port Authority, "COVID testing is just one of the many different safety layers we have at our facilities."

Indeed, the Port Authority, which manages JFK, LaGuardia and Newark, requires all passengers entering its terminals to wear face coverings. In addition, entry to terminals is restricted to ticketed passengers only.

There are plenty of social distancing markers spread across terminals too. Plexiglass barriers have been installed at physical touchpoints — from check-in to TSA checkpoints to boarding gates.

Touchless check-in and payment options have also been rolled out across Port Authority airports.

Related: LaGuardia's new terminal is a major upgrade — see for yourself

Though demand for travel is still significantly reduced compared to 2019, the Port Authority and XpresCheck are doing their best to welcome you back to the travel experience in a safe, health-focused manner.

All photos by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

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740-850
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Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
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  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
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  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023