Boots (a chain of chemists in the U.K.) is to offer private COVID-19 testing for customers. For those pondering travelling to the UAE and or other counties, this could be very useful.
The service initially rolled out to ten stores – in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow for customers travelling to UAE.
The chemist plans to roll out a wider service to over 50 stores across the UK over the next few weeks. Depending on demand and feedback, the launch may extend to 200 stores over the coming months.
The service is available as a private pre-flight testing service for customers who require a test before travelling abroad. It is also an accessible solution for those who would prefer the peace of mind before seeing friends and family.
In addition, Boots will also be rolling out new LumiraDx devices to selected stores, which will be able to process swab test COVID-19 results in just 12 minutes – allowing for same-day results.
The LumiraDX devices test for the presence of a Covid-19 antigen protein, allowing for the rapid turnaround.
The service is aimed at customers who don’t have symptoms but require peace of mind, a travel certificate (or evidence that they are COVID-19 free).
Booking the test
To obtain a COVID-19 test, you can simply fill out a registration form and follow the instructions to book an appointment through the Boots online portal.
The new service is at https://www.boots.com/covid-19-testing-service. It costs £120.
For the UAE version, You’ll need to be refereed by PureHealth currently – see https://www.boots.com/health-pharmacy-advice/pre-flight-covid-19-testing-service.
Once in the store, a testing-trained member of Boots expert team will facilitate the swab test, package the swab and send it to a laboratory to be tested, with results usually available within 48 hours.
Seb James, Managing Director of Boots UK and ROI commented:
“Boots has supported the government’s COVID-19 testing programme from the very start and offering this new in-store service is the next step in our efforts to fight against the pandemic. We hope that by offering this testing option in local community stores, Boots can help ease pressure on the NHS and the Government by providing additional access to testing and crucial reassurances for people across the UK. As part of the UK High Street for over 170 years, Boots is proud to serve on the front line alongside the NHS and we will continue to do our part to support the nation’s healthcare needs during this challenging time and beyond.”
A step to enabling normal travel?
Whilst the cost may seem steep, for those needing to travel, it could be a required step as the world continues to adjust to life under COVID-19.
Certainly, it’s a way to normalise travel to evidence your health – providing you don’t catch the virus in the days after the test.
Lower cost tests will be needed in the longer term to enable more mass movement – but for those who need to travel, and need to get a test – this is one answer.
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