By Claire Newell

Oct 26, 2021

One of the biggest challenges for Canadians planning to travel abroad is finding, booking and paying for covid-19 tests in order to return to Canada.

The federal government requires all arriving travellers aged 5 and up, to present a negative Covid-19 molecular test result. Despite lobbying from industry groups, that rule will remain in place for the foreseeable future. Many other countries also require negative Covid-19 tests for entry, but some will accept rapid antigen tests.

To help make it easier on its customers, Canada’s largest airline is offering a way for travellers to be tested at their destination without having to visit a foreign clinic. Air Canada is partnering with a Canadian-based healthcare company called Switch Health to offer self-administered COVID-19 molecular and antigen test kits that travellers can purchase ahead of time and take with them on their trip.

The RT-LAMP tests, that meet the federal government’s testing requirements, are conducted under the remote supervision of a Telehealth expert from Switch Health from anywhere. Results will arrive in less than 45 minutes and come with a digital report that can be used for travel.

Switch Health also seamlessly integrates into Air Canada’s digital tool allowing customers to securely submit their test results and vaccination records, further streamlining the experience.  And you don’t have to be flying with Air Canada, they can be used when returning to Canada on any airline.

The kits can be ordered online and shipped directly to the customer’s home. For now, there are limited quantities available and Aeroplan members will get first access and can earn Aeroplan points for the purchase.

Pricing for the portable antigen test kit starts at $79 plus tax (one kit includes two tests), and the portable RT-LAMP test kit starts at $149 plus tax.

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