Air Canada launches portable COVID-19 molecular test kits

Oct 25 2021, 9:36 pm

Air Canada has introduced a portable COVID-19 test kit that travellers can pack in their suitcase and then use to re-enter Canada.

The self-administered molecular tests were developed through a partnership with healthcare company Switch Health.

Called the COVID-19 RT-LAMP Kit, Air Canada officials said the tests meet the federal government’s testing requirements for entry into Canada.

The Government of Canada currently requires anyone entering the country to present a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken within 72-hours of arrival.

Travellers are able to purchase one of the Switch Health kits and test themselves while abroad, thus forgoing the need to locate a COVID-19 testing site in a different country.

The tests are done under the remote supervision of a telehealth worker. Results are ready in less than 45 minutes and include an electronic report Air Canada said is suitable for travel.

The tests do not require laboratory processing, according to Switch Health, and are instead analyzed through a device included in the kit.

“Air Canada is a leader in adopting and implementing science-based safety measures to simplify our customers’ journey,” said Mark Nasr, senior vice president of products marketing and e-commerce at Air Canada.

“We are pleased to offer our customers the most comprehensive range of travel testing options that will make travelling abroad easier and more predictable.”

In addition to the molecular RT-LAMP test, Air Canada and Switch Health have partnered on a portable, self-administered antigen test kit, which they say is accepted by many countries, including the United States.

Currently, the portable molecular and antigen tests are only available to Aeroplan Members, although the loyalty program is free to join.

The two-pack antigen tests start at $79, while the molecular RT-LAMP kits run $149.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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