British Airways is exploring the option of introducing the coronavirus testing through a “third party.” No plans have yet been finalised but the move could serve to boost passenger numbers. Several countries on the UK’s safe list require travellers to prove they have tested negatively for the virus, including such popular destinations as the UAE and Cyprus.
Currently, Britons are only entitled to free COVID-19 tests on the NHS if they are displaying symptoms.
Otherwise, they will need to fork out upwards of £100 from a private company.
Such a sum could well deter travellers from jetting off to the countries that require a test.
According to sources, British Airways would partner with Boots Pharmacy fro the venture, reported God Save The Points.
The site claimed the testing would be offered at a number of UK locations for both passengers and crew.
A BA spokesman told Express.co.uk: “British Airways is not making pre-flight testing mandatory for all customers.
“We are currently discussing the possibility of helping our customers access pre-flight testing through third parties if their destination requires this, however no plans have been finalised.
“We will share more in due course.
“We are doing everything we can to make travel as safe and stress-free as possible for our customers in these unprecedented time.”
British Airways urges fliers to always check the entry and exit requirements of the country they are travelling to.
The carrier explains on its website: “Each passenger is responsible for checking and conforming with the entry and exit requirements at their arrival and return destinations.
“Requirements may include temperature checks, proof of negative PCR Covid-19 tests or completion of forms.
“Please be aware that if you fail to comply with these requirements you may not be able to travel or be allowed to enter your destination.”
In further BA news, the airline announced this week it is extending its Book with Confidence policy.
This will help customers booking flights and holidays throughout September 2020, to cover journeys for a whole year, up to August 31 2021.
The policy allows customers to change the dates and destination of their booking without incurring a change fee, or to cancel their booking and receive a voucher for use at a later date.
A number of holiday deals are also now available on the BA website to such destinations as Barbados and Antigua.
Andrew Brem, British Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We know how hard people work and how much they look forward to their holidays, so we want to give them the confidence to book, safe in the knowledge they can change their booking should they choose to.
“Anyone booking this September who plans to travel all the way up to the end of August 2021, can now take advantage of amazing deals and be reassured their precious holidays are well protected.”
British Airways Holidays also has a range of other benefits including low deposits – from just £75 per person – as well as the opportunity to pay their balance in as many instalments.
Final payment is now not due until three weeks before travel, offering even further flexibility.
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