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Virgin Atlantic’s ‘Traffic Light’ Test Bundles

Virgin Atlantic’s ‘Traffic Light’ Test Bundles

Virgin Atlantic is introducing at-home tests and packages based on the UK’s new traffic light system. The airline has partnered with UK health firm Prenetics to create the bundles, which will offer customers testing packages based on current requirements.

The bundles are available on a dedicated micro-site.

The round-trip bundles are initially available for Israel, Nigeria and Grenada, and start at £152 for a ‘green’ country and £179 for an ‘amber’ country; as requirements ease, this list will most likely be expanded.

When more green countries are added (that accept lateral flow antigen to enter) then the starting price will be £130.

The bundles include all the tests customers require and include a convenient remote ‘test to carry’ rapid antigen test, which customers can easily administer before returning to the UK, meeting England’s pre-departure testing requirements.

The packages will also include UK Government approved arrival packages for Day 2 and/or 8 of self-isolation at home with an option to add a PCR test at day 5 for early release from quarantine, where this applies for amber countries.

Individual PCR tests will start from £55, with results within 24 hours of receipt at lab, and a ‘Green list’ package to include everything needed for travel to Israel and returning to the UK is £152.

Virgin Atlantic is also offering passengers the option of changing the bundle if their destination changes colour, with customers liable for either a refund or an extra charge, depending on the circumstances.

The packages are only valid for destinations that accept at-home tests, but for destinations that require lab tests the airline is providing a list of recommended providers on its website via a lab locator tool. This is the case for all travel to the United States, which currently only accepts tests taken in an official lab.

All customers receive a “Fit to Fly” test certificate, that can be presented  in the digital pass solutions Virgin Atlantic is trialling, or in paper format as a backup.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “We cannot have a prohibitively expensive testing system that puts businesses, individuals, and families off travelling, which is why we are pleased to have worked closely with Prenetics to offer competitive prices for our customers and will continue to review these regularly. With the UK’s world-leading vaccine roll-out, the Government must also go further to expand the green list and significantly update the traffic light framework, enabling travel without testing and quarantine – for ‘Green’ countries and vaccinated passengers travelling to ‘Amber’ destinations.”

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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