British Airways has launched a new service in conjunction with government-approved test provider Qured, offering sales of Covid self-tests to passengers.
A solution to travellers
Since the start of the year, arrivals to the UK have been required to provide negative Covid tests less than 72 hours old. Many travellers, however, have had trouble accessing tests in some countries overseas.
As of yesterday, 4th March, 2021, British Airways has offered a solution to this issue, by way of the launch of its new Covid self-test service. The airline has begun to sell self-tests to passengers, which meet the UK government’s criteria to be accepted as a valid pre-departure test. Passengers can purchase the test for the small sum of £33, take it abroad with them and conduct it before returning to the UK, as it self-administered. The launch of the tests will grant many passengers more seamless travel, all whilst continuing to abide by Coronavirus regulations.
How does it work?
The tests that British Airways are selling to passengers are lateral flow tests. Travellers must run a swab along the back of their throat on both sides, and then insert the swab into both nostrils. This will be done on a live video call with a trained Qured member of staff, to ensure the procedure is done correctly. As long as passengers have their test kit and a stable internet connection, they can take their test anywhere in the world.
The sample taken is then mixed with a liquid and two drops are placed on the test device. At this stage, the call with the Qured staff member is ended, and the traveller must wait 20 minutes for their result. Once time is up and the test result is received, the passenger must photograph it alongside their ID. This is then verified by a member of the Qured team, who will provide a certificate that confirms the result.
If passengers use British Airways’ VeriFLY service, they will need to upload their certificate to the app before travel. Although, British Airways is working with both VeriFLY and Qured to improve the system and make this upload automatic.
In addition to the test, the passenger must also still comply with and pay for the mandatory tests taken on day two and eight of their quarantine after arrival to the UK.
Currently, the tests can only be delivered to the UK, meaning there are limits to their use and accessibility. However, this new system of testing offers a promising step towards alleviating Pandemic travel.
Do you think self-tests are a reliable method of testing? Would you use one on your travels? Please do share your thoughts with us below.