United Airlines begins free transatlantic coronavirus testing pilot program

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Tuesday, November 17, 2020
United Airlines begins coronavirus testing pilot program
The new testing program ensures that everyone over the age of 2 will have tested negative for the virus ahead of departure on select flights.

Starting today, passengers traveling from Newark to London will be the first to take part in United Airlines' free COVID-19 testing pilot program.

From now through Dec. 11, the airline will offer rapid tests to every passenger over the age of 2 and all crew members on select flights from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to London Heathrow (LHR).

Passengers that do not want to be tested will be placed on another flight.

The new program will guarantee everyone on board select flights other than children under the age of 2 will have tested negative before departure.

Passengers on the transatlantic flight will have to take the test three hours before departure.

SEE ALSO: United Airlines using new Clorox Electrostatic sprayers to disinfect airport terminals

Last week, United announced it will be disinfecting airport terminals to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The airline said this is part of the United CleanPlus commitment to enhance safety for travelers and it will be using a Clorox Electrostatic sprayer at 35 of its busiest airports - this includes ticketing lobbies and terminals.

United says spraying will happen a few times a week, and it plans to do it nightly by early December. While some airports have already been doing their own cleaning, United says only some have been using the electrostatic spraying.

According to United, the electrostatic spraying system is similar to the electrostatic spraying technology used onboard aircraft and will be used to spray surfaces in ticketing lobbies, terminals, gate rooms, employee spaces and United Club locations. The disinfecting solution is EPA-approved to kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

RELATED: United first airline to launch rapid COVID-19 testing program for travelers

The optional test will give travelers flying from San Francisco to Hawaii the ability to avoid a two-week quarantine if they test negative.