British Airways trialling ‘game-changer’ COVID-19 test with results in 25 seconds
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
British Airways is hoping to greatly reduce the time spent waiting for COVID-19 test results for travel.
While some private testing results can take 48 hours or more, British Airways announced on Thursday it will be the first airline in the world to conduct the Pelican ultra-rapid COVID-19 antigen tests that deliver results within just 25 seconds.
The test is a non-invasive saliva test that delivers what the manufacturer calls “PCR-like accuracy” of 98% sensitivity and 100% specificity in symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.
The trial will initially be limited to the airline’s flight and cabin crew. British Airways will compare the test results of this ultra-rapid test against its standard test results. Though if the trial is successful, BA CEO Sean Doyle hopes to include this as an option for passengers who require a negative test result for travel.
Antigen tests are not considered to be as reliable as PCR tests, though they are usually much cheaper, easier to obtain and deliver results more quickly.
Critically, the U.K. government has advised that it will accept antigen/lateral flow test results, such as these, to satisfy the requirement of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the U.K. This is provided the test meets performance standards of greater than 97% specificity, greater than 80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml, which this Pelican test meets.
If the trial is successful, it could be a game-changer for travellers who need a COVID-19 test to return to the U.K. Being able to get a test result and certification to fly within 25 seconds could prove to be a massive step towards the resumption of travel. Of note, even the green list countries in the U.K.’s traffic light system require two COVID-19 tests: one prior to departure and one within two days of arriving back in the U.K.
Featured image by VioletaStoimenova/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 100,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $2,000
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.