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A door may be cracking open for Americans to travel to Europe again


Two new Covid-19 testing packages may be the important thing to unlocking travel between the United States and Europe.

Select passengers flying on American Airlines, British Airways and United Airlines flights are eligible to take part in testing packages which can be evaluating whether or not preflight Covid-19 exams can be used to calm down travel restrictions imposed by each international locations.

The two packages, nonetheless, are fairly completely different. Here is what to learn about every.

American Airlines and British Airways

Results of the pilot program by American Airlines and British Airways will be shared with the U.S. and U.Okay. governments in hopes of stress-free travel restrictions between the 2 international locations.

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“RT-PCR tests are the ‘gold standard’ … because they are even more sensitive than LAMP tests, but they also take anywhere between six to 24 hours to process,” Evans mentioned. “RT-LAMP tests — which are both highly effective and can be processed in around 60 minutes — are ideal for an airport environment as they can be processed on-site.”

Even if all exams are adverse, passengers will nonetheless want to self-isolate within the U.Okay.

The trial will finish after 500 prospects have been examined below the three-test strategy, mentioned Janine Brown, an American Airlines’ communications supervisor.  

“The trial is being conducted with the aim of showing that testing can play a role in reducing the need for quarantine,” Brown informed CNBC’s Global Traveler. “The U.K. government has also said recently it is evaluating testing as a means to reduce the self-isolation period.”

Heathrow Airport is claimed to be exploring preflight testing trials on further routes from the U.S.

Kirsty O’Connor | PA Images | Getty Images

Evans mentioned analysis reveals the U.Okay. alone is shedding 32 million British kilos ($42.Three million) day by day due to lack of flight connectivity with the United States.

Before the worldwide pandemic, American Airlines and British Airways flew up to 111 flights every week between New York and London. Now, the carriers are working 14 weekly flights between the 2 cities.

Doug Parker, chairman and chief government of American Airlines, mentioned in an organization press launch that the airline has already efficiently launched Covid-19 testing to prospects touring from the U.S. to the Caribbean and Latin America. American Airlines presently exams passengers touring to Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Belize and Hawaii.

“The U.K. is a critically important business and leisure destination that our customers want to visit,” mentioned Parker. “We believe the results provided by this trial will be vital for reopening transatlantic travel safely.”

United Airlines’ preflight testing program

Here, just one check — a speedy Abbott ID Now check — is required. The White House relied on Abbott’s ID Now check to display screen guests earlier than an outbreak occurred in September, which culminated in President Donald Trump being identified with Covid-19 on Oct. 2.

The check precisely diagnoses Covid-19 circumstances in these presenting signs, however is identified to miss as many as one-third of asymptomatic infections. United Airlines didn’t reply to CNBC’s request for info relating to the efficacy charges of this check.

Testing is finished on the airport by way of an appointment, which the airline advises passengers e-book not less than three hours earlier than their departure instances. Results can be found roughly 30 minutes later.  

Passengers who check optimistic can’t board the flight. Pursuant to the airline’s phrases, these passengers will both be refunded or rebooked on one other flight departing not less than 10 days later. Those who check optimistic are required to present two successive adverse Covid-19 outcomes to board a rebooked flight.

Additional phrases state: “You acknowledge that lab test results are not guaranteed to be accurate, and you may receive a false positive or a false negative finding. You agree that United bears no responsibility for an inaccurate test result and any resulting consequences.”

The advantages of testing may outweigh the dangers, nonetheless. The airline experiences a “positive impact on travel demand” and vital will increase in income when testing choices can be found, in accordance to a United Airlines’ press launch issued on Monday.

Currently, most residents of the European Union are prohibited from getting into the United States, below a travel ban issued final March. Americans can travel to the U.Okay. in the event that they quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.



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