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Tampa airport offering COVID testing before holiday flights

Tampa airport wants you to get a COVID test before traveling
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Posted at 5:53 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 17:54:01-05

TAMPA, Fla- — The Tampa International Airport is offering COVID testing during the Christmas and New Year’s travel period.

Passenger traffic is expected to be down 50% but the airport says testing is critical for those who are choosing to fly during the holiday season.

Testing is available from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and Sundays, and it is closed on Christmas Day. The testing is available for passengers departing or arriving within three days.

The site is set to offer both the PCR test ($150) which produces results with 24-48 hours and the rapid antigen test ($60) which produces results in 15 minutes.

The airport recommends those with travel plans check with their airline or with their destination city to determine if a test result is required when landing. However, a test may not be required for most travelers.

More information is available on their website.

TPA expects traffic to pick up this weekend, though exact estimates are uncertain due to the pandemic. This coming Saturday, Dec. 19, as well as Saturday, Dec. 26, and Sunday, Jan. 3, are projected to be the busiest days, with approximately 43,000 passengers traveling through TPA on each of those days. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will see far fewer passengers with projections between 22,000 and 24,000 on those days.

Despite the lower numbers, TPA advises departing passengers to arrive at least two hours early, follow TSA guidelines for items in checked luggage to avoid delays, and use the cell phone lot if picking up passengers.