The Comox Valley Airport is making flying internationally a little bit easier for those in the North Island, with the addition of an on-site COVID testing lab.
The testing facility, operated by Connectus Global, will provide both PCR and rapid antigen test kits at a cost and is set to open at 8 a.m. on Jan. 19.
Up until now, the closest location for travellers who require a PCR test for travelling is to book an appointment at a facility in Nanaimo.
Appointments can either be scheduled online using the Connectus Global clinic booking tool accessed via the Comox Valley Airport’s website or travellers can stop in to book in person at the testing location in the terminal, located near the main arrivals door beside the baggage pick-up area.
“The health and safety of our passengers, visitors and employees have been our top priority since the start of the pandemic,” said Mike Atkins, the CEO of the airport. “We think that testing will be here for the foreseeable future and asymptomatic COVID-19 testing is one additional measure to support safe air travel and our local community.”
PCR test costs vary depending on the time needed for results. For results within 48 hours, the cost is $175; for next day results, the test cost is $250 and tests with same-day results (by midnight) cost $375.
Because the lab is located at the airport, travellers will not have to worry about transportation delays in order to receive their results. Information will be entered into the Connectus Global database and results will be sent by email based on the selected timeline.
Individuals will receive a digital health passport via their handheld device or tablet for display to border officials, air carriers or governing agencies to provide confirmation of test results at the appropriate stage of travelling.
Tests are also available for anyone wishing to use them as an additional measure to prevent potential spread or peace of mind.
Rapid antigen test kits are also available for take-home use for $25 and can be purchased at Mid-Island Gifts, airport vending machines or at the Connectus collection site in the terminal.
Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday and hours may be expanded to meet demand.
For more information, visit comoxvalleyaiport.com.