In an effort to proliferate travel to the region and provide enhanced convenience, the Bermuda Tourism Authority and the Bermuda Government have partnered with warehouse club Costco to provide US travelers with COVID-19 testing kits.
The tests will be available for purchase nationwide to all travelers headed to Bermuda. The British island territory is Costco’s first international partner in offering this service.
As testing protocols have become commonplace amidst the anticipation of a vaccine rollout, the partnership is an effective step to encourage travel in the interim.
Speaking on the development, Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO Glenn Jones stated:
“We believe this marks a major step forward in facilitating access to pre-travel testing required for Bermuda visitors—it will be offered across the U.S., including major tourism markets with direct air service to the island. The prospect for travel is still difficult for many. Everyday we're working to make it a little easier.”
About the Program
Costco will be offering COVID-19 test kits to Bermuda-bound travelers. The test will use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) saliva screening.
The cost of the kit will retail at $139.99 and are currently available online from Costco. The test kits will be distributed by FDA-authorized provider of self-administer PCR tests, AZOVA Health.
The tests are also scheduled to be made available this month in over 100 locations, with Boston and New York area locations to be among the first to offer the service in-store.
Costco membership is not necessary to purchase the kit online or in-store.
About the Test
Travelers may purchase the COVID-19 test kit from Costco’s website. Upon completion of purchase, a unique code will be sent via email.
The traveler will then need to visit AZOVA’s website to redeem their code and register their COVID credentials and complete a brief health assessment. Once completed, a test kit will be shipped through UPS overnight delivery to the traveler’s address.
Upon receiving the test kit, travelers will need to schedule a virtual sample-collection observation time window. Once the test has been completed, samples may be returned by UPS overnight delivery.
Digital test results are received within 12-48 hours once they are collected by the lab. The results may be shared with Bermuda’s public-health authorities via the Travel Authorization portal.
Costco plans to soon offer tests in select Costco pharmacies in which the test may be administered directly under the supervision of a pharmacist.
This service will effectively reduce the turn-around time for test results.
Bermuda Focused on Making Travel Safer and Easier
The collaboration with Costco is viewed as a substantial step in making travel and tourism easier for Bermuda.
In this regard, Health Minister for Bermuda, Kim Wilson stated:
“This is fantastic news for visitors and returning residents alike, and I wish to commend all involved for working to make this happen. Ensuring timely access to pre-arrival testing such as this approved PCR saliva test under observation is a huge gain for Bermuda.”
In addition to the partnership with Costco, the Bermuda Tourism Authority also recently announced a collaboration with OpenClear to offer travelers expedited COVID-19 screening service. More information on the program may be found here.
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