A UK-based biotechnology company has become the first saliva-based Covid-19 test provider to partner with Abta.
Halo is now one of a group of five providers to have been granted Abta Partner Status.
It is the only one to offer PCR tests with ‘spit not swab’ sampling, which are examined for genes only present in Covid-19.
The company’s tests cost £89, which include door-to-door courier and pick-up, 24 hour test analysis from arrival at the laboratory, and app-based results and verification. Users can track progress of the test via Halo’s app and results are directly uploaded on to the app. They also receive a verification certificate which can be downloaded, printed or stored as proof of test.
The new partnership comes as the government outlines plans to allow fully vaccinated travellers to return from amber countries without the need to self-isolate from July 19.
Halo already has partnerships in place with companies in the travel and hospitality sector including British Airways, Sofitel Hotels, Cathay Pacific and Hilton Hotels & Resorts.
Chief executive and founder Jonathan Biles said: “There is no greater stamp of approval or trust in the UK travel industry than that of Abta and we are extremely proud to have their name next to ours.”
He called for closer ties between providers and the trade as travel opens up.
“As we move to reopen our borders and encourage foreign travel, there needs to be greater collaboration between travel agents and testing providers to ensure that customers are clear on their testing requirements. At Halo, we are dedicated to playing our role in helping the UK travel industry take off again,” he said.
Halo has also recently partnered with UCL Genomics and The Francis Crick Institute to enable rapid sequencing of positive Covid-19 test results. The collaboration will allow UK scientists to track and understand the virulence and transmissibility of new Covid-19 variants of concern.