Testing at Tampa International Airport

BayCare Health System and Tampa International Airport have partnered to provide passengers access to COVID-19 testing services. 

  • Who is this testing site for?

    This testing center is meant for passengers traveling to and from Tampa International Airport. Travelers should plan ahead to make sure they obtain the right kind of test for their needs and allow adequate time for processing – usually three days before travel to destinations where a negative PCR test result is necessary.

  • What are the two types of COVID-19 tests being offered?

    As part of this pilot program at TPA, BayCare will be offering two kinds of tests at TPA: PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and antigen. 

    The PCR test takes about 48 hours* to obtain results and is the most globally-accepted tool for determining that you do not have COVID-19 at the time you are tested. Most destinations that have COVID-19 restrictions require a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of travel to exempt the traveler from a mandatory quarantine. Therefore, travelers should seek a PCR test three days before their departure to provide the best chance of getting results in time. Cost is $150.

    SCHEDULED DEPARTURE   RECOMMENDED PCR TEST DAY   
     Sunday  Previous Thursday
     Monday  Previous Friday
     Tuesday  Previous Saturday
     Wednesday  Previous Sunday
     Thursday  Previous Monday
     Friday  Previous Tuesday
     Saturday  Previous Wednesday

    The antigen test is considered most accurate within 5 days of COVID-19 type symptom onset (fever, shortness of breath, and cough) and can be processed onsite in less than an hour. The test can provide peace of mind for travelers wanting to be sure they aren’t infectious, but it may be of limited use in avoiding government-mandated quarantines at a destination. Cost is $60.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control and the U.S. State Department both maintain listings of COVID-19 related travel advisories.

    *BayCare will do everything in its power to return test results in a timely manner. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances, including testing supply limitations, a surge in community demand, or laboratory processing delays, may cause some test results to take longer to return. BayCare and Tampa International Airport are not liable for any travel plans that may be impacted by an unexpected delay in returning laboratory results to travelers.

  • What to bring to the testing site?

    • Proof of travel within three days or of recent arrival (i.e. boarding pass, airline receipt)
    • Payment for test: Credit card only. No insurance claims will be processed at testing site.
    • Wear a mask: Masks and social distancing are required throughout the airport.
  • When is the testing site open?

    Testing is currently available on the following days and times:*

    Monday-Friday, 7:30am-1:30pm
    Saturday-Sunday, 8am-12pm

    Registration closes 15 minutes prior to closing time. 

    CLOSED Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day

    Patients should plan ahead to allow adequate time for processing.

    The antigen test can be processed in less than an hour. 

    See table below for PCR test processing.

    SCHEDULED DEPARTURE   RECOMMENDED PCR TEST DAY   
     Sunday  Previous Thursday
     Monday  Previous Friday
     Tuesday  Previous Saturday
     Wednesday  Previous Sunday
     Thursday  Previous Monday
     Friday  Previous Tuesday
     Saturday  Previous Wednesday

    *Hours of operation are subject to change, due to demand. Travelers are advised to check back here to confirm times before they head to the airport for a test.

  • Where is the testing site located?

    The testing site is located inside Main Terminal of Tampa International Airport. Passengers can park for free for the first hour in the short-term garage and proceed to Level 3 between shuttle entrances to Airsides E and F. 

  • How does this testing process work?

    Upon arrival at the airport up to three days before their departure – or upon immediately disembarking from an arriving flight – travelers should follow the signs on the 3rd floor of the Main Terminal to Airside E and F shuttles. They will see signs for the testing site, which is designed to insure privacy during test collection. 

    Face masks are required and social distancing should be maintained at all times except during the actual test collection. 

    Please note that COVID-19 tests are point-in-time diagnostic tools. A negative result does not rule out a person from developing COVID-19 in the future.

    Registration 

    Travelers should bring proof of travel (boarding pass or airline receipt) as well as be prepared to provide their Social Security number*, an email address and a mobile phone number. This contact information will speed the notification of test results by allowing travelers to check the BayCare Patient Portal as soon as 24 hours after testing to see if results have returned.  

    All passengers taking a test will be required to sign a testing consent form, excluding BayCare Health System and Tampa International Airport for any liability regarding test results, unexpected delays in test processing and any potential impact on travel plans.

    *Travelers who do not have a Social Security number or who do not want to provide one will receive results in a different manner, which is detailed below.

    Procedure

    Each traveler will have the test administered by a licensed professional in a privacy bay. The PCR test uses a nasopharyngeal swab. The antigen test uses a nasal swab. 

    Should there be a wait for service, travelers will have the option to wait outside on the adjacent terrace instead of inside the building. 

    Results

    Travelers with a positive result are highly encouraged to cancel all travel plans, quarantine and contact a physician. Under law, BayCare is required to report all positive results to the Florida Department of Health.

    Travelers with a negative result should print a copy or store a copy on their mobile device. Based on itinerary, some airlines as well as government officials will require the document for travel or upon arrival. 

    To obtain results:  

    Travelers will receive information during registration about how to access the BayCare Patient Portal

    PCR Test results: Travelers can begin checking the BayCare Patient Portal as early as 24 hours after their test collection for results. If travelers haven’t seen results within 72 hours, they can call 1-800-BayCare for assistance.

    Antigen Test results: Travelers may wait onsite for test results, which take less than an hour.

    Travelers who did not provide a Social Security number during registration will either be notified by text on their mobile device (negative results) or by a phone call (positive results).

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What can I do if I haven’t gotten my PCR test results in 48 hours?

    Continue to check the BayCare Patient Portal  for up to 72 hours. If there are no results, then contact BayCare at 1-800-BayCare. BayCare will do everything in its power to return test results in a timely manner. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances, including test supply limitations, a surge in community demand or laboratory processing delays, may cause some test results to take longer to return. BayCare and Tampa International Airport are not liable for any travel plans that may be impacted by an unexpected delay in returning laboratory results to travelers.

  • I'm not traveling, can I get a test?

    Due to limited capacity onsite, the site at Tampa International Airport is reserved for travelers. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, check online at BayCare.org for our BayCare Online Screening Tool as well as information about our Nurse Triage Service and our Drive-Thru Testing sites

  • Why do I need to get tested?

    Some airlines and destinations require a negative COVID-19 PCR test result to travel or be exempt from a mandatory quarantine.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control and the U.S. State Department both maintain listings of COVID-19 related travel advisories.

  • Can you bill my insurance?

    Unfortunately, we are not equipped to bill insurance providers at the TPA test site. Travelers may want to try submitting their own claim to their insurance company for reimbursement. 

  • Who will see my results?

    Under law, BayCare is required to submit all COVID-19 test results to the Florida Department of Health. Other than the testing consent form the patient signs, which is shared with TPA, all other passenger information gathered during the testing process is considered patient health information and is protected from disclosure by federal privacy laws.