British Airways to trial 25-second Covid tests that would be a 'game-changer' for holidaymakers

BRITISH Airways will trial a coronavirus test which produces results within 25 seconds.

The carrier, which will be the world's first airline to use the test, described it as a "game-changer".

Pilots and cabin crew will be invited to take the Pelican Covid-19 antigen test by Canary Global and their results will be compared with their standard test results.

The airline said the test correctly identifies 98 per cent of people who have Covid-19, and 100 per cent of those who do not.

BA are hoping that the new tests would drastically reduce costs and hassle for holidaymakers, if successful.

British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle said:We think this new ultra-rapid test is a game-changer so we are delighted to work with the team at Canary to begin initial trials with our flight and cabin crew, before exploring what role it could play as a customer testing option."

Users apply a sample of their saliva to a disposable sensor unit, which is shaken and inserted into a digital reader connected to a Bluetooth-enabled device such as a smartphone.

The test result is made available on an app within 25 seconds.

The ban on international leisure travel for people in England will be lifted on Monday.

Returning travellers must take a coronavirus test in the three days before their departure to the UK, and one or two post-arrival PCR tests, depending on how the country they visited is categorised under the new traffic light system.

There is concern that testing requirements are putting many people off from going on holiday this summer.

Results from PCR tests are not normally delivered until the following day as samples must be analysed by a laboratory.

Raj Reddy, Canary Global's chief executive, said the Pelican test offers "PCR-like accuracy".

He added: "We developed the test with the travel industry in mind, where speed, accuracy and ease of use are paramount.

"We hope the Pelican test can soon be used as a standard test for travellers and crew around the world."

The Department for Transport has said it will review its policy on June 28.

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