United and Abbott today announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration to use Abbott’s BinaxNOW COVID-19 Home Test and Abbott’s NAVICA app to help make the international travel experience more seamless. Recently updated CDC guidelines permit travelers to self-administer a rapid antigen test under the real-time supervision of a telehealth service and use the verified negative test result to board an international flight to the U.S. if they test negative.
“We appreciate the private sector proactively helping travelers have access to easy, reliable COVID-19 test options,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH. “Comprehensive testing that is easy, rapid, accurate and trusted is a fundamental strategy for preventing the spread of COVID-19.”
United customers can depart the United States with the BinaxNOW Home Test in their carry-on bag and administer the test via the eMed digital health platform while overseas, avoiding the need to find a testing center abroad. United is the only airline to offer end-to-end integration between a digital platform and a testing app with the integration between the United Travel Ready Center platform and Abbott’s NAVICA app which provides a seamless passenger experience when departing and re-entering the UnitedStates. Since the Travel-Ready Center launched in January, United customers have been able to easily access testing or vaccine requirements needed for travel destinations, upload completed testing results and vaccine records, as well as have them verified, all within the United app.
“We want to give our customers greater peace of mind that when they travel internationally, they’ll be able to return to the U.S quickly and safely,” said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer at United. “The Abbott BinaxNOW Home Test meets CDC requirements and, along with our partners at Abbott, United is doubling down on our commitment to make international travel as safe and convenient as possible by offering an easy testing option when customers are ready to return to the United States.”
The BinaxNOW Home Test kit is lightweight, about the size of a day planner and fits easily into a passenger’s carry-on luggage, briefcase or purse. It is recommended that passengers travel with more than one BinaxNOW test in their possession in the event of an inconclusive test result.
“The BinaxNOW COVID-19 rapid test is the most studied and widely used rapid test in the United States today and with our partner United, we’re making testing even more broadly available as the country returns to international business and leisure travel,” said Andrea F. Wainer, executive vice president of Abbott’s rapid and molecular diagnostics business. “The CDC’s recent guidance also reinforces the importance of our NAVICA app, because airlines and other safety-conscious industries, such as workplaces and higher education, will need digital solutions that can be used to quickly and easily validate and verify test results.”
The BinaxNOW COVID-19 rapid test can help restore a sense of normalcy to everyday life by reuniting family members and loved ones, providing additional confidence while traveling, and making it easier to do international business. Authorized since August 2020, more than 200 million BinaxNOW tests have been distributed throughout the United States, where they’ve been used by K-12 schools, universities, nursing homes, and underserved communities and serve as a powerful tool to help prevent the virus from spreading.
The Abbott BinaxNOW Home Test meets the CDC’s guidance due to the unique digital proctor experience through eMed, which provides observed sample collection, testing and digitally verified test results. Abbott’s recently authorized BinaxNOW Self Test for over-the-counter purchase is not eligible for travel purposes.