BA NEWS • February 2021

Which Covid-19 test is right for you?

British Airways has brought together a set of curated COVID-19 testing options, all with exclusive prices for BA customers. We’ve seen the airline’s chief commercial officer explain why, and now it’s time to figure out which. So, while we might not be able to jet off on our holidays right now, we present the best of the tests for when the time is right

short ontime

For those who are… short on time

Even in a pandemic, social lives whittled down to infrequent, distanced walks, there’s still just never enough time. Luckily, a test from CityDoc (£93, discounted from £150) will land through your letterbox within one working day when ordered before 12pm Monday to Friday. The instructions are clear and results available within 72 hours of the sample reaching the lab, meaning you should order your kit at least five days before travel. Nomad, Halo and MedicSpot also provide do-it-yourself tests, with the latters available to pick up and then drop off at clinics around the country. 

home comfort

For those who… want home comfort, but need a helping hand

This one’s the best of both worlds: a test that you can perform inside your own four walls with a side of on-screen guidance. Nomad (which has cut its test price by 15 per cent for BA customers) offers a throat and nasal self-swab alongside a scheduled video consultation, guiding those on the other side of the screen on how to correctly perform the test. Delivery-wise, travellers can pick between Express and Standard: one to two working days after the order processes, or three to five working days after the order processes, respectively. Testing all done, a courier will come to pick up the sample, with results returned 48 hours later, travel certificate and all. 

traditional way - waiting room

For those who… want a professional touch

That’s right: it’s time to head down to the clinic, sit under the fluorescent lights and get the job done. Express Test, Nomad and CityDoc will all help test eager travellers at any one of their UK screening centres. Express Test has drive-through screening centres across the UK, including spots at Heathrow and Gatwick, with results in your pocket by 10pm the next working day. Nomad has two clinics in London, plus Bristol, Cardiff and Manchester, while CityDoc has more choice in the capital, as well as spots in Leeds, Edinburgh, Coventry and Birmingham. With these two providers, you’ll be waiting between 48-72 hours for the all-clear.

same day

For those who… want a same-day experience

LAMP tests are the speedy ones, and now travellers flying from Heathrow can book in for a departure-day LAMP test with results available in just 90 minutes. Collinson, which partnered with Heathrow to provide this on-the-spot testing, was the first company to roll out dedicated airport testing in the UK and is offering a discount code for BA customers at Terminal 5. The only snag? LAMP tests, due in part to their quick-fire nature, are only accepted by certain destinations, so it’s best to get clued up beforehand. Also available at Heathrow is Test and Rest – which includes an overnight stay at Sofitel London Heathrow and a PCR test with results delivered overnight.


For those who... don’t need a negative PCR test

…But do need a negative COVID-19 test. While many destinations will only accept the full PCR test, a few out there will accept a negative result from a rapid antigen test. These tests – quicker, but definitively not as accurate as their PCR counterpart – deliver results in just 15 minutes. You can get an antigen test at the airport courtesy of Collinson, or in-clinic with Nomad and CityDoc, which perform tests by taking swabs from two locations in the nose and throat to ensure as much accuracy as possible. The test doesn’t flag if you’ve been previously infected, just if the infection is currently active. With luck, you’ll be walking out with a negative test and, best of all, the travel certificate that comes included. 

All information cited relates to departure testing from the UK only. For more information, click here

This article has been tagged BA, Travel Tips