suitcase with medical mask showingresumption of travel during COVID restrictions

How Test Kit Courier Services Can Support the Resumption of Travel

Test kit courier services can play a critical role in the immediate and long-term future for businesses looking to employ at-home COVID test kit collections, allowing travel companies to better support the needs of their customers.

Ahead of the resumption of international travel on 17th May, the UK Government has announced the safety status of travel to various countries and territories via a simple traffic light system.

In preparation for the ‘stay in the UK’ regulations to be lifted next Monday, the Government has set out how international travel will recommence, with a high focus on protecting public health.

The Global Travel Taskforce set out a list of only 12 countries which would be included on its ‘green’ list of travel, allowing UK travellers limited options to take a trip overseas for leisure. And whilst the Global Travel Taskforce has deemed those twelve countries open for UK travellers, some countries are still expected to place further, more stringent restrictions of their own, which includes traveller quarantine.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps said:

“[This] marks the first step in our cautious return to international travel, with measures designed above all else to protect public health and ensure we don’t throw away the hard fought gains we’ve all strived to earn this year.

This is a new way of doing things, and people should expect travel to be different this summer – with longer checks at the borders, as part of tough measures to prevent new strains of the virus entering the country and putting our fantastic vaccine rollout at risk.”

What does this mean for those wanting to travel?

Countries and territories added to the ‘green’ list include Portugal and Madeira, Gibraltar, Australia and Singapore. But despite the recent allowance of travel to these areas, there are strict restrictions now in place to protect against new virus variants entering the UK and the potential for further spikes in cases. And that includes COVID tests at home.

Upon arrival back into the UK, all travellers must take an at-home COVID test kit within 2 days of return. This ensures that anyone who tests positive following overseas travel, is subject to quarantine measures and those who receive a negative test can return to normality.

‘Amber’ listed countries, including holiday hotspots Spain, the Canary Islands and Greece, will remain closed for leisure purposes, disappointing holidaymakers who have had to put a further hold on their vacation plans.

But if you are required to travel to an amber listed location, perhaps for essential business purposes, you’ll be required to quarantine upon return. You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the ‘Test to Release’ scheme, potentially halving your self-isolation period.

How to book a courier for COVID test

Anyone required to obtain an at home COVID test kit, is advised to visit the Government website where they have listed over 500 providers including clinics and screening centres, where they can request a private COVID test.

But whilst private testing may offer itself as a solution to travellers, airlines warn that the unregulated cost of private COVID tests may be a barrier for many people looking to travel abroad.

Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association said:

“The cost of testing could act as a significant barrier to the meaningful restart to aviation and should not be underestimated. A summer holiday will be out of reach for many and damage an already badly hit aviation and travel industry even further.”

Travellers also raised concerns around delays when it comes to collection and turnaround of PCR tests, required for travel. 

How are travel businesses supporting their customers?

Retailers, airlines, and hospitality businesses have spent much of the last year closed and unable to offer any semblance of service to their customers. And whilst the upcoming loosening of restrictions is far from ‘normality’, it does mean they can begin to open doors again to their customers. The ongoing challenge to the sector is to ensure those doors can remain open for the foreseeable future.

Businesses are increasingly taking matters into their own hands in order to protect their staff, customers, and the wider general public, implementing private testing through applying a coordinated COVID test courier collection and drop off service. Businesses operating within the travel sector, including airlines and travel and cruise providers, are looking at ways to comply with government guidelines whilst ensuring their customers’ holidays can resume safely.

Courier collection and drop-off

A co-ordinated logistics solution that can meet the large-scale requirements of at home COVID test kit collection, could be the answer for many businesses looking to better support the needs of their customers. And whilst not essential for businesses to offer this service gratuitously or even as part of a package, it would certainly demonstrate a higher level of responsibility and service, by reducing the time spent in quarantine and the additional costs to travellers. This could offer a more feasible option for individuals who could be turned off travelling by the high costs of private PCR testing.  

With international travel opening up, Crown SDS offers a coordinated solution to airlines and travel operators, in meeting their large-scale COVID test collection requirements. Having a robust testing mechanism in place will enable them to remain operational.

Crown SDS medical courier service adds test kit courier to its capabilities, having previously created courier collection and drop off solutions for businesses. That includes immediate collection and sameday delivery of testing kits to clinics and labs, with 2 to 4 hour turnaround of results for the individual. Through utilising dynamic routing software and real-time tracking, Crown SDS can offer rapid and cost-effective test kit courier solutions that are both reliable and efficient.

If your business is looking for a better solution for your customers to book a a covid test collection, contact our experienced team.

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