British Airways is offering a new, convenient and cheap way to comply with pre-departure COVID-19 test requirements that can be carried out in the comfort of your own home and which does away with the time-consuming process of sending the test back to an approved laboratory.
At the moment, the £33 [speaker-sub alias=”or $46″]($46)[/speaker-sub] tests can only be used for passengers travelling back to the [speaker-sub alias=”United Kingdom”]UK[/speaker-sub] and, unfortunately, it doesn’t remove the need to buy a government-mandated post-arrival testing package.
Hit by allegations that it left the country’s borders wide open to the threat of deadly new variants of the novel Coronavirus, the British government has recently introduced one of the toughest testing regimens for international travel in the world.
This includes a requirement to take a pre-departure test within 72-hours of travel but the cost and availability of meeting this requirement can vary wildly.
Thankfully, along with the traditional (and more expensive) PCR style tests that many governments mandate, the UK also permits passengers to take rapid antigen tests that are significantly cheaper and can provide results in as little as 15-minutes.
British Airways has teamed up with testing provider [speaker-sub alias=”Cure Red,”]Qured[/speaker-sub] to offer an at-home testing solution that fully complies with UK government rules. The test has to be ordered before leaving the UK so that you pack it in your bag and have it ready to use before your return flight.
Within 72-hours of departure, simply schedule a video call with a [speaker-sub alias=”Cure Red,”]Qured[/speaker-sub] health advisor who will talk you through how to take the test and, importantly, make sure you actually perform the test correctly. The results are presented within minutes and [speaker-sub alias=”Cure Red,”]Qured[/speaker-sub] is then able to issue an official ‘fit to fly’ certificate.
The cost of COVID-19 tests could, however, still quickly add up under current laws in England. Along with the pre-departure tests, all travellers arriving in England from abroad must book a mandatory post-arrival testing package that costs £210 per person for tests on day two and day eight after arrival.
Travellers who want to leave mandatory self-isolation early, also need to book a separate test which would put the average cost of testing alone at £342 for a one way trip to the UK.
Passengers who have been in or travel through 33 ‘red list’ countries must also quarantine in a secure hotel for 10-days at an additional cost of £1,750 per person.
Even with mass vaccination, a combination of pre-departure and post-arrival testing is likely to remain commonplace for some time to come. British Airways will be hoping that it’s cheap and easy pre-departure testing package will convince the government to drop its post-arrival test requirements – a cost that could put many customers off travelling abroad.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.