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United Launches COVID-19 Testing Options for 10 Caribbean and Latin American Destinations

United Launches COVID-19 Testing Options for 10 Caribbean and Latin American Destinations
Joe Cortez

After launching testing options for flyers heading to Hawaii via San Francisco, United Airlines is expanding their options to 10 destinations south of the American border. Flyers bound to one of the destinations will be able to utilize an at-home test from a new testing provider.

United Airlines will offer an at-home COVID-19 testing option after all, but only for flyers bound for 10 destinations south of the American Border. The airline announced they will begin a regimen for passengers heading to 10 Caribbean and Latin American destinations through their southern hub of Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

At-Home Testing Option Valid for Entry at Destinations

Starting Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, the airline will offer the at-home exams for flyers departing IAH for the following destinations:

  • Aruba (AUA)
  • Belize City, Belize (BZE)
  • Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA)
  • Lima, Peru (LIM)
  • Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)
  • Panama City, Panama (PTY)
  • Roatan, Honduras (RTB)
  • San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP)
  • San Salvador, El Salvador (SAL)
  • Tegucigalpa, Honduras (TGU)

The tests will be provided for $119 per flyer by Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory (ADL), based out of San Antonio, Texas. Like the test offered by LetsGetChecked in partnership with American Airlines, the self-collected exam comes from a lower nasal swab. The specimen will go through an RT-PCR test, with results given within 24 to 48 hours of the sample’s arrival. Although it does not appear that collections will need to be supervised, professionals will be available for telehealth consultations if necessary.

“Widespread testing is key to unlocking international borders and safely reopening global travel,” Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer for United, said in a press release. “We’ll continue to lead the way on testing – United was the first to announce a customer COVID-19 testing program and the first to offer free tests on flights across the Atlantic – and we’ll look at new, innovative ways to make the travel experience even safer.”

United and ADL suggest flyers order their exam at least 14 days before their flight, and collect their sample 72 hours before their flight. Travelers must present a negative test report in order to proceed to their final destination.

Testing Options Ramp Up for Flyers Traveling Abroad

With the latest launch, United now offers COVID-19 tests for flyers heading to three different regions. In addition to offering COVID-19 testing for flyers heading from San Francisco International Airport (ORD) to Hawaii, the airline is also granting test access for a limited time to those traveling from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to London Heathrow Airport (LHR).

United is not the first to offer testing to Caribbean destinations. JetBlue worked directly with the government of Aruba to open the country to passengers with a negative test result, while American expanded their COVID-19 test options to flyers bound for Belize, Grenada and St. Lucia on Nov. 16, 2020.

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