British Airways has partnered with testing provider Qured to offer discounted rapid antigen test kits to its customers.
The discounted “ultra-convenient” portable kits cost £33 and use a diagnostic lateral flow device (LFD) to detect a protein found inside the virus. According to Qured, the LFDs that it uses have been independently validated by Public Health England.
Customers can use the kits to travel to foreign destinations that accept antigen tests and can also carry the kits abroad in preparation for their return journey to the UK. As it stands, travellers must provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours before travel to be allowed entry to the UK.
BA customers can purchase as many kits as they like, but the airline advises that customers check the entry requirements of their destination before ordering the test due to the regularly changing travel restrictions.
To order the test, customers should visit the BA website and follow the link to the Qured website to register and pay for the kit. Customers will receive the kit the following day (if ordered by 6pm) by post or courier, and will then be sent a unique link to book a video call with a health professional – this can be cancelled and rescheduled in the case of changed travel plans.
During the virtual clinic slot, the health advisor will guide the customer through taking a nose and throat swab and transferring the sample onto a lateral flow cassette for processing, with the entire process taking approximately ten minutes.
See a video of the process below:
The results will appear 20 minutes after completion of the test. Customers must write the date and time that they took the test on the cassette, and send a photo of the result alongside a photo of their ID to the email provided no more than 30 minutes after the appointment. The customer will then be notified of their test result via text and email, and will also receive a ‘fit to fly’ certificate provided that the test is negative.
Should the test result come back positive, British Airways will rebook the customer’s flight free of charge.
The test results from Qured and other testing provider partners can be manually uploaded to the Verifly digital health passport app, which BA is currently using on all inbound UK international flights and translatlantic routes between London and the US. The airline is in discussions with all test providers to simplify the process by automatically sending test results to the app.
British Airways CEO Sean Doyle commented:
“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.
“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”
Qured’s CEO Alex Templeton added:
“Our accessible rapid testing service takes the hassle out of finding a test abroad. As a trusted healthcare provider we look forward to delivering an exceptional patient experience to British Airways’ customers and to working with them on a safe return to travel.”
British Airways is also working with providers CityDoc, Medicspot, Halo and Nomad to offer discounted pre-departure Covid-19 tests for its passengers.
The airline added that it is continuing to work on the development of the IATA Travel Pass and is “exploring all digital travel verification solutions to support its customers when travel restarts”.
While travel is currently on hold, international travel is set to resume on May 17 “at the earliest”, according to the roadmap out of lockdown published last week.
For more information on which airlines are offering discounted Covid-19 tests, see our feature:
And for airports with testing facilities on-site: