Traveling during the coronavirus pandemic is anything but stress-free. There are entry restrictions for where you’re traveling to, as well as the need for a negative COVID-19 result to return home.
British Airways has teamed with COVID-19 testing provider Qured to offer passengers tests that will give results in 20 minutes — and for a discounted price.
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As of Thursday, British Airways customers who are booking a flight or holiday with the airline will be eligible to purchase a government-approved antigen COVID-19 test kit at a discounted price of about $46 (£33). The best part of the test is that it can be taken completely remotely with the supervision of a healthcare provider via video call.
In other words, if you’re traveling to a remote destination and worried about locating a COVID-19 test for your return home, a remote and self-administered test like this could be the perfect option.
Related: Hotel quarantine, 3 COVID-19 tests and more: Everything you need to know about traveling to the UK
Before leaving on holiday, the traveler will be able to order tests, which will be delivered to them in the U.K. The passenger can then take kits with them abroad, as they’re small and easy to pack. When the passenger is ready to return to the U.K., they’ll be able to take their packed-away test, join a video appointment to take the test and get the results in 20 minutes.
Here’s how it works.
If you’re interested in getting a Qured testing kit, you can select to do so while booking your BA travel. You can purchase each test for around $46 as mentioned above. The kit — or kits — will be delivered to your home address with a next-day-delivery service. (Note that it’s only available for delivery in the U.K. at this time.)
Once you’ve ordered a test, you’ll receive an email from Qured that you can register for an appointment with a professional health advisor. This appointment should be made with ample time before your scheduled departure.
At the time of your virtual appointment, you will join a video call with the health advisor who will guide you through a throat and nose swab, which should take about 10 minutes. The health advisor will be required to watch you self-administer the test and process the sample to ensure it’s done accurately.
After successfully self-administering the test, you’ll need to wait 20 minutes for the result. Once the 20 minutes has passed, you’ll need to email a photo of the test and your photo ID to Qured. If the test returns a negative result, Qured will email you a “fit to fly” certificate, which you can present to the relevant authorities during your travels.
Ultimately, this is a great addition from British Airways, aiming to make it easier for passengers to be able to book with confidence when they consider securing relevant testing requirements for their travels.
“As we look forward and prepare for a safe return to travel, we remain focused on finding and offering the most convenient and affordable testing options for our customers,” British Airways CEO Sean Doyle said in a statement. “Our teams were pleased to discover Qured, a unique new option which removes uncertainty and unnecessary expense for customers who may be concerned about sourcing a pre-departure test while away from home.”
Keep in mind that these tests are antigen tests, which don’t qualify for all entry restrictions. However, both the U.K. and the U.S. accept antigen test results as an entry requirement.
The Qured tests as part of this partnership, however, don’t qualify for the mandatory COVID-19 tests England requires for arriving passengers during quarantine. Since Feb. 15, England requires all arriving passengers quarantine for 10 days — some in a hotel quarantine, depending on where they arrived from — and take two COVID-19 tests on days two and eight of quarantine. Those tests must be purchased directly through the government.
Related: Government details stricter quarantine measures, hotel quarantine
Better yet, travelers will be able to load their negative test results into BA’s health app VeriFly. The digital health travel passport is available to passengers traveling between London on the U.S. and on all BA inbound routes to the U.K.
The airline also said that it’s working with the International Aiir Transport Association (IATA) on the development of its Travel Pass.
Keep in mind that at this time, the U.K. remains in its third national lockdown, and as such, all non-essential travel remains illegal. Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled the roadmap out of lockdown for England. At the earliest, that could see the resumption of international travel from May 17 — depending on the findings of the new Global Travel Taskforce.
Featured photo courtesy of British Airways.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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