Southwest Passengers Can Now Get an At-home COVID-19 Test in the Mail

Each testing kit comes with a CDC-approved rapid antigen test and a virtual appointment with a CityHealth testing specialist.

It's about to get a little less complicated to get back home from abroad if you're flying on Southwest Airlines.

The airline is partnering with CityHealth, a Bay Area healthcare company, to provide discounted COVID-19 test kits for passengers traveling back to the U.S. from international destinations, Southwest announced recently.

Appropriately named "RapidReturn," the test kits don't require travelers to download any additional apps or use a specific operating system to obtain test results. Instead, all that's needed is WiFi and a video-enabled device, like a cell phone, laptop, or tablet.

Each kit comes with a CDC-approved rapid antigen test and a virtual appointment with a CityHealth testing specialist. Specialists are available around the clock, and for anyone testing negative for COVID-19, the company promises a secure link to a health certificate in around three minutes.

"Since it was launched, the RapidReturn kit has been one of our most popular COVID testing options," Sean Parkin, CEO of CityHealth, said in a statement.

The kits have a retail sales price of $75, but Southwest customers traveling on international routes can purchase them for $50 each before or after they purchase airline tickets. Travelers not flying on Southwest can purchase kits at full price and forget about having to spend the last day of their vacation tracking down COVID-19 tests to return home.

Tests are currently out of stock but travelers are encouraged to check the website for availability.

The U.S. is requiring all international travelers, including vaccinated U.S. citizens, to test negative for the coronavirus within a day of their departure to the U.S.

"The quick return of results will help Southwest passengers stay in compliance with the new one-day testing rule," Parkin said.

The company also promises a more comfortable testing experience, thanks to slimmer swabs. And if you're nervous testing yourself, the kit comes with a backup swab and testing device, should you mess up on the first try.

Meena Thiruvengadam loves wandering new streets and discovering the world's stories. Find her on Facebook, Instagram, or at the airport, and subscribe to her newsletter.

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