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I may have to travel towards the end of next month so I’ve been looking into which coronavirus tests are accepted by the United States (my destination) and the United Kingdom (the country I’ll be returning to) and to my surprise, I’ve discovered that one of the easiest tests to take (the one that’s not invasive at all) is an approved test for both the UK and the US. That’s great news for the squeamish and for families.
With a number of countries showing reluctance to embrace the idea of a ‘Travel Passport’ that would confirm if a person has had a coronavirus vaccine, and with the virus far from beaten back, COVID-19 testing is going to be with us for a while.
A problem that this raises for families with children is that most COVID-19 tests aren’t particularly pleasant (no kid enjoys having a swab pushed up their nose and then down the back of their throat), but if a family wants to travel to somewhere like the United States, any kids over the age of 2 will have to take a coronavirus test (details here). If they want to return to the UK and use the ‘test to release’ program, any kids over the age of 10 will have to take a coronavirus test (details here). So what is a family to do?
Use The HALO Verify Test
Well, there’s good news for anyone who can take a test in the UK.
The HALO Verify test which I took at the Sofitel Heathrow T5 last year and which simply requires a person to spit into a tube (see this post to get step by step details of what the test is like) is a test that’s accepted by both the US (the US accepts all NAAT tests of which a HALO PCR test is one) and the UK authorities (I’ve written about this in the past).
In further good news, not only is this one of the more affordable tests around (a home test can be booked for £89), but because HALO Verify has partnered with British Airways and Iberia, this test can be ordered with a 16% discount (total price = £74.76) by using the promo code BRITISHAIRWAYSHALO or IBERIA at checkout (you don’t even have to be flying with BA or Iberia to get the discount!).
The HALO Verify COVID-19 test can be ordered as a home test from the HALO home page and it returns a result within 24-hours of a sample being delivered to their lab (the test price includes the cost of courier delivery) so the turnaround is impressively quick.
It’s also worth noting (as I mentioned earlier) that this is the test that’s offered by the Sofitel London Heathrow T5 as part of its ‘Test & Rest’ package (find out how to book that rate in this post) so if you don’t live in the London area and are planning to stay near Heathrow before a trip for which you’ll need to take a COVID test, you may be able to kill two birds with one stone by booking a Test & Rest package at the Sofitel (this would only work if your flight isn’t early on the day after your test as you’ll need to leave time for the test result to come back – the two tests that I took at the Sofitel both returned results before 8 am).
Regular “swab” tests for COVID-19 aren’t particularly nice and they’re certainly not something that kids will enjoy, but with the HALO Verify test authorized for travel to the US and the UK (among other places), families and anyone who doesn’t like the swab tests has a much better option – it’s not invasive, it’s quick and it’s relatively inexpensive.