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easyJet to Offer Discounted COVID-19 Home Tests
On Monday Nov 30, easyJet announced it would begin offering discounted COVID-19 tests through its’ partner Confirm Testing. According to TheTop10News, the £75 ($100) “Fit to Fly” test can be purchased using the unique code ‘eJh2020’ on Confirm Testing’s website, and if the test is negative, passengers will only have to quarantine for five days after entering the United Kingdom. Passengers can find more information on COVID-testing measures on easyJet’s holiday help page.
The test will support the U.K.’s newest “Test to Release” scheme that goes into effect on December 15. The rules say that any passenger traveling into the UK from a country not included on the travel corridor list can opt to take a self-funded covid test after five days of post-travel quarantine. If the test is negative, that person does not need to complete the 14-day isolation period.
EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren commented on the partnership, saying, “I’m really pleased to be able to offer our customers convenient testing options at cheaper rates than are widely available on the market. This, coupled with the news that quarantine can be reduced with a negative test, is a key step towards travel getting back to normal. We continue to push for testing the efficacy of rapid testing technologies like antigen and LAMP testing which could be undertaken on departure at the airport and for further reducing quarantine, making it easier and less onerous for people to travel. He continued, “ It is clear that while testing will continue to be important to keep people moving in the coming months, eventually the vaccine will play a role in reducing this and return travel to normal. Governments and industry need to work together to achieve this and we stand by ready to support where we can.”
If passengers choose not to purchase a test through Confirm Testing, they also have the option of booking a home test for £100 ($133) or a clinic test for £150 ($200) through CityDoc. According to easyJet, each testing company aims to provide results within 48 hours.
The UK-based airline is not the first to come up with this testing scheme. According to Business Traveler, Hungary-based WizzAir has also partnered with Confirm Testing to offer a discounted covid test, offering the test for £85 ($113) instead of the £120 ($160) list price. Wizz Managing Director Owain Jones said, “At Wizz Air, we are committed to getting the UK flying safely again, so it is with great excitement that we announce our partnership with Confirm Testing, through which our customers can secure the necessary testing services at a specifically discounted price to travel internationally safely and confidently. We welcome the government’s new testing strategy to the UK to isolate for a shorter period if they have received a negative test. This is a vital step in stimulating demand for air travel and promoting the recovery of the UK aviation sector.”
If passengers want to avoid a self-administered at-home test, they can also opt to take a £60 ($80) ExpressTest at London Gatwick Airport upon arrival. However, passengers traveling to London Heathrow do not have an on-site airport testing option. While the Collison and Swissport “Test on Arrival” pilot program has already been launched at the airport, according to London Heathrow’s website, the facility is not yet government-approved and cannot be used to circumvent the country’s quarantine rules. Upon approval, the program will offer 90-second rapid tests to passengers who land in the UK and will produce results within seven hours. It is important to note that in either case, according to the “Test to Release” scheme, passengers will still need to test again after a five-day quarantine.
While easyJet and Wizz Air are confident that the UK’s new quarantine rules will boost leisure travel demand, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary is not so thrilled. He criticized Boris Johnson’s decision saying that the new rules are not “enforceable” and will allow infected people to enter the country. He believes that “people don’t comply” and insists that pre-travel testing would be better.
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