BREAKING: British Airways’ game changer – £33 DIY Covid tests to enter the UK

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Even if we were allowed to travel right now, there is a myriad of rules, regulations and tests to go through to get back into the UK. Never mind the rules and testing of the country you are going to! Testing before departure on your return to enter the UK is likely to be here for the foreseeable. So BA’s latest idea is a game-changer to me. It’s cheap, easy to do and gives rapid results. No more worrying about finding somewhere abroad to do tests and wasting part of your trip to get a test done.

You need to be organised and make sure you get the tests ordered and delivered to you before you leave, but other than that it is very simple. So when you are ready to fly back to the UK, you simply do the test within 72 hours of departure and then if it’s negative you are ready to fly!

To give peace of mind when planning future travel, British Airways has announced that its customers can order discounted global antigen tests from Government approved COVID-19 testing provider, Qured, at an exclusive price of £33. These tests can be used for entry back into the UK on your way home and are PHE and government approved. 

 

How do I order the test?

They are available to buy from today 4 March on this page on ba.com

The antigen rapid test kits can be ordered to any UK address. If you order by 3pm Monday to Saturday you will receive the test the next day. You can order more than one if you have a couple of trips planned, but don’t forget that the entry requirements could change meaning you can’t use the test if you ordered too far before departure. As well as ordering a test you need to book your online appointment for a video consultation. 

 

What does the test involve?

Designed to be portable, customers can take the kits with them abroad, in preparation for their return journey to the UK. The simple test is remotely administered by a professional health advisor over a scheduled video call.

The health advisor will guide the customer through taking a nose and throat swab and processing the sample. Verified results are available after 20 minutes, and the customer can download a ‘fit to fly’ certificate if the test is negative. I watched a demonstration yesterday of the testing and it’s easy and very professional. In fact, I have done a few of these rapid tests before and they are very simple to use. The health professional guides you through the process. You will need something to time the results on and a pen plus the kit. You will need to write the date and time of the test on the slide so that the advisor can verify when the test was taken. 

Once you have completed the test, you wait for the allotted development time and then send a photo of the test with your photo ID next to it. The date and time is also checked. 

You can see a video of the test process here:

 

 

How do I get my results?

You would then get your results back via a link on SMS within a few minutes. You can download a negative certificate from there as well.

 

Does it work with Verifly?

I previously wrote about Verifly, the app BA are using to validate test and vaccination status. Hopefully, Qured will be added into the app’s approved providers soon so that results can go seamlessly into the app and be used to do online check-in without lots of further paperwork checks at the airport. 

One thing to know is that Covid-19 is a notifiable disease in the UK so Qured are legally obliged to share positive results with PHE. This does not apply in other countries. 

 

What if my travel is postponed or cancelled?

The other handy part about Qured is that if you have an appointment booked, you can cancel or change the video appointment, unlike many providers. This is definitely needed when travel can be so unpredictable at the moment. Tests usually have an expiry date of about 2 years so you should be able to use it on another trip. 

 

Can I use the tests for other requirements such as entry to the US, test to release or the day 2 and day 8 tests?

The tests can also be used for the US which would save a lot of hassle going somewhere in the US to get it done. Other countries may accept these tests but you would need to check the country’s requirements yourself. It can’t be used for day 2 and 8 tests as these are currently PHE NHS tests but it is hoped that you will be able to use private providers in the future. However, since these are done to track variants then it’s unlikely to be a rapid antigen test. You can use some rapid antigen tests for test to release but not these one’s currently. Hopefully, that will change since it would be very handy! Qured do offer a PCR test for test and release by post though. 

You can find more information here.

8 Comments on "BREAKING: British Airways’ game changer – £33 DIY Covid tests to enter the UK"

  1. Sounds great in practice and a good move by BA. However, how is Qured going to manage the potential for tens of thousands video calls a day, has anyone thought about this??
    I’d like to know more before ordering my kits for August.

    • At the moment obviously it’s not an issue and even when travel does return it will do so gradually. Plus not everyone will take that option. Hopefully Qured will ramp up as passenger numbers do. The demo I saw yesterday was very slick. Calls only take a few minutes so there’s definitely potential for mass testing.

      But I definitely would not order your kits more than a week or two in advance anyway with the constant changes of requirements!

  2. Bit of a game changer, this – and sounds very encouraging

  3. Sounds very promising, I’m an advocate for anything which is going to make travelling easier at a time when the industry really needs fantastic things like this.

  4. Malcolm Bright | 4 March 2021 at 6:14 pm |

    Can I order one of these kits to be sent to my address in Mallorca ready for my return flight to Uk. I am already in Mallorca but returning to UK on a BA flight

    • I don’t believe they ship outside the UK but you can always try contacting Qured to ask. If not you could just get it sent to someone in the UK and get them to send it on.

  5. Just done an essential trip to the USA and spent GBP65 on the Heathrow pre departure test, USD240 on tests in the USA to 1. test out of quarantine and then 2. the pre-departure return trip test, and then a gob-smacking GBP220 for the two UK Days 2 & 8 quarantine tests which are a monopoly as you can’t get your Passenger Locator Form authorised pre-departure without these government tests (how do they justify this price when they are home test kits and the GBP65 one at Heathrow is done by a nurse and a captive last minute market). So GBP33 for these tests is a fantastic move by BA, as aside from the serious cost savings, it takes all the hassle out of the enormous amount of time taken to try and find test centres which will test visitors in the destination country (even the USA is bad as they won’t test foreigners, understandably). Go BA.

  6. Certainly the way forward, I am sure we will be seeing more of these.

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