British Airways launches rapid Covid-19 test kits that cost just £33 and can be used anywhere in the world – and MailOnline gets a result from one within 30 minutes
- The tests are by Government-approved firm Qured and available across the UK
- The results are emailed shortly after a video consultation with a health advisor
- The Qured test kits can be ordered in bulk if desired and are ultra-portable
- They are designed to be taken abroad and the test can be carried out anywhere
British Airways is now offering Covid-19 test kits for its customers for just £33, far below the regular price tag of £100-plus.
The rapid antigen tests, by Government-approved firm Qured, can be delivered on a next-day basis to any UK address and the results emailed shortly after a consultation with a professional Qured health advisor over a scheduled video call and lab analysis of the test result.
The customer is guided through taking a nose and throat swab and processing the sample, with the advisor watching every step to ensure the procedure is carried out correctly.
British Airways is now offering Covid-19 test kits (pictured) for its customers for just £33, far below the regular price tag of £100-plus
When MailOnline Travel gave the process a test-run, the results and a fit-to-fly certificate were ready within 29 minutes of the call ending (see boxout).
The Qured test kits can be ordered in bulk if desired and are ultra-portable. They are designed to be taken abroad and the test can be carried out anywhere that the customer can access the internet for the video call.
BA said the kits can be used for travel to countries that require an antigen test and remove uncertainty for customers returning to the UK who may be unsure how to source a pre-departure test while in a foreign country.
UK travellers are not allowed to use NHS testing services.
British Airways’ CEO Sean Doyle said: ‘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 said: ‘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.’
BA said the Qured Covid kits can be used for travel to countries that require an antigen test and remove uncertainty for customers returning to the UK who may be unsure how to source a pre-departure test while in a foreign country
For travellers in need of a pre-departure Covid-19 PCR test in the UK, providers Qured, CityDoc, Medicspot, Halo, Nomad, Collinson and Cignpost also offer ‘fit to fly’ options at a discounted price for British Airways customers, with prices starting at £75.
To offer customers ‘further reassurance before travel’, the airline recently began trialling a new travel health app, Verifly. The digital health travel passport, which can be downloaded to a mobile device, is designed to check customers meet the entry requirements of their destination by providing digital health document verification and confirming eligibility before they depart for the airport.
Test results from Qured and other test providers can be ‘safely and securely uploaded to the app’.
To offer customers ‘further reassurance before travel’, British Airways recently began trialling a new travel health app, Verifly
British Airways is in talks with all test providers to seek opportunities to have test results automatically sent to the Verifly app, ‘to make the process even easier’.
The airline said that it continues to work on the development of the IATA Travel Pass and is exploring all digital travel verification solutions to support its customers when travel re-starts.
To find out more information on Qured, and all the other testing options and discounts available, customers should visit British Airways’ testing page on ba.com.
MAILONLINE PUTS BA’S NEW £33 COVID-19 TEST KIT… TO THE TEST
Apart from the physical discomfort of shoving a swab into the upper reaches of my nasal cavity and across my tonsils – the BA-Qured Covid-19 test system was an absolute breeze to use.
The kit was couriered to my house and I scheduled a video call with a health advisor for the next day.
The kit consists of (the dreaded) swab, a little cassette that registers the result, a small squeezable extraction tube, the ‘extraction buffer’ solution that carries the sample onto the cassette and instructions that explain the 14 steps of the test.
The BA-Qured Covid-19 test kit is a cinch to use and a professional health advisor guides customers through using it, step by step, during a video call
But there was nothing to worry about here because at the top of the instructions was a note to reassure me that I would be guided through the steps during the video appointment – which was carried out by a chirpy but extremely professional advisor.
She carefully talked me through all the parts of the kit and showed me how to open them.
First, I had to swab my tonsils, and was told that if I gagged that was a ‘good sign’ I was doing it correctly, then my nasal passages, moving the swab so far up them that my eyes watered. Then I had to press the swab into the extraction buffer solution for 10 seconds.
I squeezed a couple of drops of this onto the cassette test plate and the advisor asked me to write on the cassette the date and time the consultation finished – for the benefit of the analysis team.
Then I set the timer on my phone for 20 minutes.
I was told that after this time had elapsed I had to take a picture of the cassette on top of a form of ID. I chose my passport.
This I then emailed to Qured for inspection.
The instructions stated that any photo taken before the 20 minutes expires or after 30 minutes would not be accepted (remember, photos carry a timestamp).
A few minutes later, an email arrived to tell me the result was negative, along with an option to download a fit-to-fly certificate.
The system was straightforward, efficient – and foolproof.