Mandatory COVID-19 testing requirements to enter many countries are causing international travelers a great deal of expense and hassle. In response, Air Canada announced the introduction of new testing products, including portable self-administered COVID-19 molecular and antigen test kits, through a partnership with Switch Health, a Canadian-based healthcare company.
According to the press release: “Using the Switch Health COVID-19 RT-LAMP Kit, customers can test themselves while travelling abroad prior to their flight to Canada to meet Government of Canada testing entry requirements without the need to visit a foreign COVID-19 testing clinic. These tests are conducted under the remote supervision of a Telehealth professional from Switch Health and include an electronic report suitable for travel.”
“Air Canada is a leader in adopting and implementing science-based safety measures to simplify our customers’ journey,” said Mark Nasr, Senior Vice President, Products Marketing & eCommerce at Air Canada. “Together with Switch Health, we are pleased to offer our customers the most comprehensive range of travel testing options that will make travelling abroad easier and more predictable. Switch Health also seamlessly integrates into Air Canada’s digital tool allowing customers to securely submit their COVID-19 test results and records of vaccination, further simplifying the travel experience.”
“At Switch Health, we pride ourselves on keeping Canadians safe and empowering them to make decisions concerning their health at their convenience through cutting edge, decentralized diagnostics and patient-focused digital solutions,” said Dilian Stoyanov, Chief Executive Officer at Switch Health. “Offering these COVID-19 tests will help get Canadians back to their favourite activities – like global air travel with Air Canada – safely, reliably and at their convenience.”
Travelers to Canada are currently required by the government to show proof of a negative molecular test taken within 72 hours of their flight. Switch Health’s new portable self-administered test kit, officially called the Switch Health RT-LAMP Test Kit, can be taken by passengers on their travels and can be used to satisfy the testing requirement without the need to visit a foreign testing facility. Air Canada is Switch Health’s launch partner for these new tests, with limited quantities initially available for Aeroplan Members.
The press release goes on to state that: “The RT-LAMP test is one of several ways Air Canada is offering practical solutions to ease customer experience and reduce the inconvenience related to the current pre-departure testing requirements. Other COVID-19 testing options include travel testing clinics, a self-administered RT-PCR collection kit and a portable self-administered antigen kit containing two tests which is accepted by many countries such as the United States.”
The release goes on to note that the Government’s COVID-19 Testing and Screening Expert Advisory Panel recommends the removal of pre-departure testing for fully vaccinated travellers, acknowledging that testing at both departure and arrival is excessive.
Air Canada will also be offering Preferred pricing for Aeroplan Members. Aeroplan Members have exclusive access to preferred pricing on all Switch Health testing products. Aeroplan preferred pricing for the portable antigen test kit start at $79 plus applicable taxes (one kit includes two tests), and the portable RT-LAMP test kit start at $149 plus applicable taxes. Members also earn 1,000 Aeroplan points on RT-PCR tests and 500 Aeroplan points on RT-LAMP test kits and antigen tests. Members can also redeem their Aeroplan points through the Aeroplan eStore to cover the cost of the test kits.
See the website for all the details or to order a test kit.
Air Canada also recently introduced a Travel Ready Hub for passengers to obtain information about necessary travel documentation, COVID-19 test requirements and country travel restrictions for any global destination.