United Airlines testing 1st free transatlantic COVID-19 testing pilot program

Select EWR-LHR flights will be “COVID-Free”

Airlines are falling over themselves to convince and reassure passengers that it is safe to fly during the pandemic.

They are investing in the latest cleaning and sanitizing technologies and creating new protocols for systematic cleaning. They are enforcing mask-wearing policies. And airlines are putting people on the no-fly list if they fail to comply.

And in the absence of a national program to test flyers for COVID-19, airlines are working on COVID-19 testing programs of their own.

Hawaii-bound travelers can get tested – for a fee – in a handful of U.S. airports.

But today United Airlines today announced the world’s first free transatlantic COVID-19 testing pilot program for customers.

From November 16 through December 11, United will offer free rapid tests to every passenger over 2 years old and crew members on select flights from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to London Heathrow (LHR).

Anyone who doesn’t want to be tested will be placed on another flight.

United says this will guarantee that everyone on board over 2 years old on the selected flights will have tested negative before departure.

Premise Health will administer the rapid testing pilot program for the selected EWR-LHR flights. And tests will be given to passengers traveling on United Flight 14, departing at 7:15 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Customers will need appointments for the tests at least three hours before their flight. The on-site testing facility will be at the Newark United Club near Gate C93.

Earlier this month, United began offering customers traveling from San Francisco International Airport to Hawaii the option to take a same-day, pre-flight rapid test at the airport for a fee. The program allows customers with a negative result to bypass Hawaii’s mandatory quarantine requirements.

And just last week, United participated in a test program between New York/Newark and London of CommonPass, a digital health pass.

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