NEW YORK, Dec. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) and the Government of Bermuda have teamed up with U.S. wholesale chain Costco to provide gold-standard COVID-19 testing that is available nationwide and easily accessible to all Bermuda-bound travelers. Bermuda is the first international destination to partner with Costco in this way, representing a new opportunity for U.S. visitors and returning residents to easily use PCR saliva screening as an acceptable pre-arrival test.
The tests, retailing for $139.99, are self-administered saliva tests that deliver results within the newly implemented five-day turn-around period. Test kits are available online now, managed by Costco Pharmacy in partnership with AZOVA Health, an online distributor of FDA-authorised, self-administered COVID-19 PCR saliva tests. Later this month, tests will also be available at more than 100 Costco locations; New York and Boston-area stores will be among the first regions to offer the kits. Costco membership is not required to utilise the test service online or in-store.
"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," said BTA Interim CEO Glenn Jones. "The prospect for travel is still difficult for many. Everyday we're working to make it a little easier."
The Costco e-commerce solution allows travellers to purchase their COVID-19 saliva PCR test and observed sample collection kit online from costco.com. Once purchased, the traveller will receive an unique code to their email inbox. They will be prompted to visit AZOVA.com/costcotest to register for COVID Credentials and to complete a brief health assessment. Once the traveller's health assessment is complete and their lab order is generated, their test kit will be shipped via UPS overnight delivery directly to their home. The traveller will be instructed to schedule their required virtual sample collection observation ahead of their travel window. Dependents can be added to a single account and samples returned to the lab via UPS overnight delivery. Digital test results are delivered within 12 to 48 hours of lab receipt and can then be shared with Bermuda's public-health authorities via the requisite Travel Authorisation portal for all island travellers.
"We're proud to serve as an essential part of Bermuda's initiative to expand COVID-19 testing options for its travellers to include 120 markets around Costco warehouses and on Costco.com," said Costco Senior Vice President of Pharmacy, Victor Curtis.
By year's end, travellers will have the option to purchase their test kits at select Costco pharmacies where a pharmacist can observe customers self-administering the test. This will further offer ease, accessibility, and streamlined turn-around times for the Bermuda traveller. Costco Wholesale is the third-largest global retailer, with warehouse club operations in a dozen countries. The chain also operates 534 pharmacies across the U.S. "This is fantastic news for visitors and returning residents alike, and I wish to commend all involved for working to make this happen," said Health Minister Kim Wilson. "Ensuring timely access to pre-arrival testing such as this approved PCR saliva test under observation is a huge gain for Bermuda."
This collaboration is the latest of many efforts the destination is making to make visiting both safer and easier. The BTA recently announced a collaboration with OpenClear that offers travelers flying to Bermuda convenient access to an expedited COVID-19 screening service in line with the Government of Bermuda's health protocols. The service is designed to help visitors to Bermuda from the New York City area, as well returning residents of Bermuda, to obtain a COVID-19 test result for the country's pre-trip Travel Authorization process. Visit https://www.openclear.nyc/bermuda-tourism to learn more about OpenClear's COVID-19 screening service, rates and appointment scheduling.
Throughout 2020, Bermuda's COVID-19 strategy has established the island as a safe destination for travelers. The US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) ranks Bermuda among countries at Level 1 ("Low Risk" for travellers). Bermuda also earned the Safe Travels Stamp from the World Travel & Tourism Council. For more details and updates on Bermuda's safety protocols, go to https://www.gotobermuda.com/bta/press-release/bermuda-tourism-authority-update.
About the Bermuda Tourism Authority
The Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) is an independent, non-government, entity and the official destination marketing organization for the island country. The Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) promotes Bermuda globally as a world-class destination for leisure and group travel and tourism investment. For more information visit: www.gotobermuda.com/bermudatourism.
Contact: Tiffani Cailor Torrence
Director of Public Relations & Content Development
[email protected] | +1 212.916.3139
SOURCE Bermuda Tourism Authority