A travel agent in Bedford has become the first in the UK to offer a direct travel test sampling service – meaning travelers can obtain a Covid status certificate within 48 hours.
Global Travel Expertsoperating from Ram Yard, now offers a testing service, with bookings made through its own online portal, and works directly with a UKAS accredited laboratory to provide official documentation of results.
Although testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers entering the UK will be scrapped from tomorrow (February 11), there is still a requirement from most international travelers
destinations for travelers departing from the UK.
The service provides travelers with a digital certificate of their Covid status within 24-48 hours, with prices starting at just £39.90 per person.
Meherwan Bozorgi, Owner and Managing Director, said: “Travel has to be economical for people again. We were never interested in taking advantage of testing requirements; we just want to make it easier for our customers to travel.
“Testing requirements for overseas travel will remain in place for the foreseeable future and the detail of these requirements differs from destination to destination.”
Meherwan cites the example of Dubai, which recently changed its requirement for a lab-tested negative RT-PCR test result within 48 hours of travel, instead of 72 hours.
He said: ‘It is simply not possible for a postal testing service to return a result to you within 48 hours.
“And that’s why our new service is so crucial; where you can come and take the test knowing that we are transporting your test directly to the lab and then emailing your certification of the results within 24-36 hours. This takes the risk and stress out of pre-departure.
Previously working as a sample collection station for Eurofins Scientific Services, Global Travel Expert’s new direct operation handles bookings through a personalized portal and is ‘name on certificate’, compliant with all EU requirements. such an operation.
The company has been offering pre-departure Covid testing for less than £45 since summer 2021, acting as a station for Eurofins. In comparison, other locations continue to charge up to £150 for the same service.
Meherwan added: “We have decided to go through the very difficult process of becoming an authenticated station, in order to ease the burden on travelers having to travel outside of Bedford and/or pay exorbitant prices for these tests.”
Global Travel Experts has offered this service not only to its own customers, but to everyone who travels – and will continue to do so with its new direct offering. As a result, the company has seen testing volumes of over 1,000 per month, with 60-65% of those tested coming from outside the Bedford area.
Meherwan said: “We have been delighted to see that our service has brought 650 new visitors to Bedford town center every month over the winter period, from across the wider Anglia region, and we believe that our new service will continue to help support downtown Bedford. footstep.”
The new service offering is part of Global Travel Experts’ goal of being a “one stop travel shop” for its clients. While Covid travel certification is a big factor right now, there is also a range of other information and prior approvals that travelers need to navigate.
“99% of countries require some form of passenger locator form or pre-approval process,” says Bozorgi.
He said: “But these processes are all different. For example, Saint Lucia accepts proof of a negative Covid result up to 5 days before travel, but also requires all documents to be digitally uploaded to a government portal and an endorsement returned prior to travel.
“India, again different, requires at least one form (compulsory) and up to three other forms depending on the city you are traveling to.
“Generally, travel administration – especially for those who like to go somewhere new every time – has become more complex.
“At Global Travel Experts, we offer our clients assistance with this element, advising them on requirements, supporting them in processing and ultimately giving them peace of mind.”
Based in Ram Yard, Global Travel Experts has been operating in downtown Bedford for eight years.