British Airways has partnered with a number of Covid testing companies since the start of the pandemic, most of which are PCR testing providers.
It has now announced a new partnership with Qured (pronounced ‘cured’…..) to offer a £33 inbound test that satisfies the requirement for a negative Covid test before arriving in England.
The process is quite clever, and lets you avoid the hassle of trying to find a test provider in the country you are visiting. It is based on a lateral flow antigen test, which means it isn’t totally accurate but better than nothing ….
It is also much cheaper than a PCR test – £33 with BA’s discount code – making it a cost-effective way of testing before you return to the UK.
Here is how it works:
- You order your test before you depart the UK and take the kit with you
- You schedule a video call with Qured up to three days before your return flight to carry out the test
- You receive your results and a test certificate within 20 minutes
British Airways offered to let me test the service – so I did!
I gave the Qured test a trial
Ordering the home test kit is easy and can be done on the Qured website here. The headline price is £39 but the BA promo code ‘BATRAVEL15‘ will reduce this to £33.
You have to select a reason for the test – which can include a simple diagnostic if you just want to check your Covid status – but in this case you should choose the ‘Return to the UK’ option:
You also have to enter a few personal details including your address.
The test kit arrives via free next-day delivery, provided you book before 3pm. It is all in a small box that you can easily pack into a bag or suitcase.
Once booked, you can schedule a call with a health advisor to take your test and get your results validated. This ensures that you perform the test correctly and don’t cheat, as this test has been validated by Public Health England as a valid way of entering the UK.
You can book this call for whenever you want and there are plenty of slots available, although they are limited to 9am-6pm UK time.
Cleverly, you don’t actually have an appointment with an individual advisor: instead you join an online queue and wait to be attended. This took a matter of seconds for me, and means that it doesn’t matter if you are a few minutes early or late for your slot.
On the call, the Qured health advisor will take you through the process of swabbing and performing the test. If you’ve done a lateral flow test before you are probably familiar with the process, which essentially requires you to dunk your swab in the liquid before dropping it onto the test cassette itself.
I will spare you the vivid details of my self-swabbing. Residents of South London will be pleased to know that I tested negative:
(Somebody can correct me on this but I assume C means ‘control’ to ensure the test has been carried out correctly and and T is for the actual Covid ‘test’ result.)
Once the 20 minutes are up you can take a photo of your test with your ID and send it to Qured. Qured will verify it and send you a test certificate in return:
You can upload your certificate into BA’s VeriFLY app if you wish, which will speed up your time at check-in.
The whole process was quick and easy thanks to the guidance from the health advisor, and got me a Government-accepted certificate within an hour.
It will be interesting to see how testing requirements evolve with the rollout of vaccines, although I imagine they will be here in one form or another for some time. These cheap and effective lateral flow tests are a great way of testing for your return.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2022)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.