British Airways to trial 25-second Covid-19 test

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British Airways (LON:IAG) is to trial a Covid-19 antigen test that can give a result within 25 seconds.

Cabin and flight crew will take part in the trial initially, which the airline hopes can accelerate the opening up of the airways after the pandemic.

Medical tech company Canary Global designed the test, the Pelican Ultra Rapid, specifically with the travel industry in mind, it said.

Raj Reddy, chief executive added: “Combining the power of nanosensor and digital detection technology, the Pelican CV19 test is the first ultra-rapid test that can return a PCR-like accuracy of 98% sensitivity and 100% specificity.

The test has already been approved in the UK and Europe with the results to be compared with diagnostics currently being used by the airline.

British Airways and its parent IAG (LON:IAG) have been critical of the current need for travellers to have tests especially those who have been fully vaccinated.

Even in green-listed countries, travellers need to have a test before they return and also another one within two days after arrival.

Sean Doyle, BA chief executive, said: “As we start to see the opening up of travel we remain committed to exploring easy and affordable testing solutions to help our customers travel again.

“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.”

The test is a saliva test that optimised to detect variants of the virus, said Canary Medical.

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

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