Going on a holiday is a distant memory as the world continues to deal with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but for Costco customers in the US it could soon be a reality.
The major retailer, notorious for selling everything under the sun — in bulk — has teamed up with the Bermuda Government to sell home-testing saliva kits to screen for COVID-19.
The tropical island, known for its ominous name as the Bermuda triangle, has partnered with Costco to make travel easier in light of the global health crisis.
The Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) announced the news, touting the British territory as “the first international destination to partner with Costco in this way… to easily use PCR saliva screening as an acceptable pre-arrival test.”
The kits will retail for $140 ($AUD 184), and are managed by Costco Pharmacy and AZOVA health.
Consumers opting for the kit must perform the test with video observation.
They will then receive their results through an app created by AZOCA within 12 to 48 hours of delivering their sample.
Travellers must take the test five days prior to their planned departure to the island.
“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 CEO of BTA Glenn Jones, BTA said in a statement.
“The prospect for travel is still difficult for many. Every day we’re working to make it a little easier.”
The tests will be available in select Costco stores across the US, with New York and Boston chains likely to be stocked first.
Pharmacists at specific Costco pharmacies will also be available to observe shoppers conducting the test in order to support the process.
And no, a coveted Costco membership is not required to use the test online or in-store.
Victor Curtis, Senior Vice President of Costco Pharmacy said he is “proud” to “serve as an essential part of Bermuda’s initiative to expand COVID-19 testing options for its travelers to include 120 markets around Costco warehouses and on Costco.com.”
Bermuda has been widely unscathed by coronavirus, with 553 cases and nine deaths reported on the island to date.
The United States however, has documented over 19,573,900 cases and more than 340,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Bermuda reopened to tourists in July and currently requires all visitors 10 years old and over to complete a pre-travel COVID-19 test.
Visitors to the island will have to register with public health officials and take another test upon arrival.
Quarantine will be mandatory until the results become available, as well as twice-daily temperature checks and additional coronavirus tests of the fourth, eighth and 14th day of their trip.
The government says it will book COVID-19 tests on behalf of visitors and provide email reminders.