British Airways prepares for travel restart with COVID-19 testing kit plan

In anticipation of travel restrictions in the UK lifting by mid-May, British Airways has partnered with Qured to provide its customers with an antigen COVID-19 testing kit at a discounted price. Passengers can carry these kits abroad and self-administer the test prior to returning to the UK.

British Airways has struck a deal with COVID-19 testing kit provider, Qured (pronounced cured), as airlines prepare for the restart of travel following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to ease lockdown restrictions in the UK. The first steps in easing the country-wide lockdown begins on March 8 with the aim to lift all restrictions by June 21. According to the government’s ‘roadmap’, international travel from the UK has been banned till May 17. Airlines, which are desperate for a boost in business, are hopeful that foreign travel will be allowed to resume by mid-May. Authorities are likely to provide further details on April 12.

Antigen test for travellers returning to the UK

British airways covid-19 test
British Airways has partnered with Qured to offer customers an antigen COVID-19 testing kit. (Photo: Courtesy British Airways)

British Airways customers based in the UK can purchase a government-approved antigen COVID-19 testing kit at the discounted price of £33—otherwise sold at £39—while booking a flight abroad with the airline. The kits will be delivered within 24 hours, though they can only be dispatched to UK addresses presently. Passengers can take these kits abroad, self-administer the test before returning to the UK and get the results in 20 minutes.

How the test works

British airways covid-19 antigen test
The Qured antigen COVID-19 test can be self-administered. (Photo: Courtesy British Airways)

The tests are lateral flow devices. The passenger must swab both sides of the back of their throat as well as each nostril. A trained employee of Qured will observe the process via video call to ensure it is completed correctly. The customer should then mix the sample with a liquid, place two drops on the test device and wait 20 minutes for it to process. The test result and ID should be sent to the Qured team, who will verify them and provide a certificate confirming the result. Passengers will then have to upload the certificate to the British Airways VeriFLY app before departure.

While the Qured COVID-19 antigen test meets the requirements for entry into the UK, passengers must also purchase two COVID-19 tests for days two and eight of quarantine as mandated by the British government.

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