United Airlines to begin trial of free passenger Covid tests on London flights

A traveler carrying a protecting masks waits to board a United Airlines flight at San Francisco International Airport, Oct. 15, 2020.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

United Airlines on Thursday mentioned it plans to supply pre-flight Covid-19 testing subsequent month for some vacationers heading to London, the most recent effort to get round journey restrictions and considerations in regards to the virus.

The trial will run from Nov. 16 via Dec. 11 on some flights from its hub in Newark, New Jersey, to London’s Heathrow. United can pay for the fast molecular Abbott ID Now tests, for Monday, Wednesday and Friday departures. Travelers who don’t desire to be examined might be moved to different flights “guaranteeing everyone on board other than children under two will have tested negative before departure,” mentioned the airline.

United and different airways with sprawling worldwide networks have struggled in the course of the pandemic as an online of journey bans and quarantine necessities devastates demand.

But carriers are more and more turning to pre-flight testing as a possible means to keep away from quarantine intervals and outright entry restrictions and have urged officers to take into account detrimental check outcomes as an alternative choice to quarantines and different guidelines.

“This patchwork of rules is confusing and discourages travel,” a bunch of 20 commerce teams that signify corporations from American Airlines to Boeing and Marriott and labor unions wrote to the Trump administration final week. “Furthermore, there are alternatives to quarantines, such as testing and screening of passengers at or ahead of departure, that can significantly reduce the risk of importation of COVID-19 and may actually be more effective due to the difficulties in enforcing compliance with quarantine requirements.”

United earlier this month began providing Covid tests, which vacationers pay for, to some passengers touring from San Francisco to Hawaii. The launch coincided with Hawaii’s removing of a two-week quarantine requirement for inbound vacationers if they’d a detrimental Covid-19 check consequence inside 72 hours.

The tests forward of the London flights might be carried out at Newark airport at a United Club lounge and clients have to make an appointment forward of time.

United mentioned it should share suggestions from clients to U.S. and U.Okay. authorities officers and mentioned journey demand has elevated when vacationers have the choice to check for the virus earlier than the flight.

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