High street pharmacy to offer tests from November
Boots, the high street pharmacy, has begun offering a new coronavirus testing service for £120, which can be used to gain pre-flight approval.
The company will be offering two different types of Covid-19 test: one which generates a result within 12 minutes while the other will have swabs sent to a laboratory to give a result. The latter can be used for pre-flight approval to destinations like the UAE.
The price will be £120 per test, which Boots said would make it one of the cheapest private Covid-19 tests available on the market. A spokesman for Boots said the price could drop depending on demand.
The service is already available in ten stores: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow for customers travelling to UAE. It plans to roll out a wider service to more than 50 stores across the UK over the next few weeks. It may be extended to 200 stores over the coming months, if the demand is there.
Seb James, managing director of Boots UK and ROI said: “Boots has supported the government’s Covid-19 testing programme from the very start and offering this new in-store service is the next step in our efforts to fight against the pandemic. We hope that by offering this testing option in local community stores, Boots can help ease pressure on the NHS and the Government by providing additional access to testing and crucial reassurances for people across the UK. As part of the UK High Street for over 170 years, Boots is proud to serve on the front line alongside the NHS and we will continue to do our part to support the nation’s healthcare needs during this challenging time and beyond.”
Airline to run pilot from New York to London
United Airlines is to launch a free transatlantic Covid-19 testing programme between London and New York.
The pilot scheme will run from November 16 through to December 11 from Newark to Heathrow with rapid testing being given to every passenger over the age of two, as well as crew members. Anyone who does not wish to be tested will be placed on another flight, guaranteeing that everyone – barring young children – will have been tested.
“We believe the ability to provide fast, same-day Covid-19 testing will play a vital role in safely reopening travel around the world and navigating quarantines and travel restrictions, particularly to key international destinations like London,” said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer for United. “Through this pilot programme, we’ll guarantee that everyone on board has tested negative for Covid-19, adding another element to our layered approach to safety. United will continue to lead on testing, while at the same time exploring new solutions that contribute to the safest travel experience possible.”
It is the latest positive testing news, with passengers flying from London Heathrow to Hong Kong also able to have a rapid Covid-19 test at the airport before checking in. The tests, which must be pre-booked, cost £80 – with results available within the hour.
United will share customer feedback of this pilot with governments on both sides of the Atlantic to effectiveness of testing over quarantine.
For more details on all the ways United is helping keep customers safe during their journey, please visit united.com/cleanplus.