Southwest Airlines has teamed with a Bay Area-based health provider to provide passengers re-entering the United States a convenient COVID testing solution.
Passengers booked on Southwest flights can purchase discounted rapid antigen test kits from CityHealth. The kits contain a CDC-approved Rapid Antigen test as well as a virtual appointment with a CityHealth testing specialist.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Southwest Airlines to offer their passengers an easy, accurate, affordable, and convenient way to return home safely,” CityHealth CEO Sean Parkin said in a statement.
During the virtual appointment, passengers will be guided through the rapid test as the CityHealth specialist supervises. Results will be ready in a matter of minutes and, upon completion, a valid digital certificate will be sent via email.
Testing specialists are available at any hour, 7 days a week, allowing Southwest passengers to complete their test whenever necessary or convenient. The immediate results and certificate allow passengers re-entering the United States to have proof of a negative test within one day of their flight’s departure.
“Since it was launched, the RapidReturn kit has been one of our most popular COVID testing options,” Parkin said. “The quick return of results will help Southwest passengers stay in compliance with the new one-day testing rule.”
To complete the test and virtual appointment, passengers only need an internet connection and a video-enabled device such as a phone, tablet, or laptop. There is no app to download.
The test is about as simple as available for COVID testing, arriving with a pre-filled testing vial and collection swab. It also contains a second swab, solution vial, and testing device in case the first test is damaged.
Test kits are available to Southwest passengers for $50. They remain available to other members of the public at a cost of $75.
Kits have been in high demand since the State Department changed entry rules to the United States in early December.
The new rules require all passengers age 2 or older, regardless of vaccination status or nationality, to show documentation of a negative viral test taken within 1 day of the flight’s departure to the United States before boarding.
Southwest flies to a number of international destinations in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. In addition to multiple locations in Mexico, Southwest destinations include Belize, Costa Rica, Aruba, Bahamas, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba.