United Airlines announced it would expand its COVID-19 testing program to include flights from Houston to destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Starting on December 7, travelers departing from George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston will have the option to take a self-collected, mail-in coronavirus test that meets local entry requirements for new destinations.
The locations added as part of United’s testing program updates include Aruba; Belize City; Guatemala City; Lima, Peru; Nassau, Bahamas; Panama City; Roatan, Honduras; San Pedro Sula, Honduras; San Salvador, El Salvador; and Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
“Widespread testing is key to unlocking international borders and safely reopening global travel,” United chief customer officer Toby Enqvist said. “This is particularly important for our customers in Houston, who rely on United to keep them connected with their family and friends in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
“We’ll continue to lead the way on testing – United was the first to announce a customer COVID-19 testing program and the first to offer free tests on flights across the Atlantic – and we’ll look at new, innovative ways to make the travel experience even safer,” Enqvist continued.
The coronavirus test will cost $119 and is administered by Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory (ADL) and processed at their COVID-19 testing laboratory in San Antonio, Texas.
To ensure passengers comply, United will reach out 14 days ahead of flights to provide instructions on the testing process. Customers are advised to take the tests 72 hours before departure and receive results via email within 24-48 hours.
The airline is also working with officials in each country to ensure that all passengers who test negative will be able to enter. The carrier has reported a positive impact on travel demand with previous versions of the COVID-19 protocols.
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