This week, Oakland International Airport in California became the first airport in the U.S. to sell COVID-19 tests in vending machines.
Travelers passing through the airport are now able to purchase at-home test kits and pick them up at a contactless vending machine designed by digital health company Wellness 4 Humanity. They range in price from $130 to $150 and can be reimbursed by health insurance providers
To purchase a test, customers are required to pay online at W4Humanity.com. They will then be emailed a QR code that they'll scan at the machine. After taking the test at home, they'll ship the test with their saliva sample to a lab via FedEx and receive their results via the company's mobile app within 48 hours of the time the sample arrives at the lab.
"As one of the first airports to offer on-site rapid COVID testing, we are now providing even more testing options for travelers," Bryant L. Francis, Port of Oakland Aviation Director, said in an announcement on Thursday. "We still urge travelers to make sure they are current on any quarantines and regulations at their destinations."
The vending machines are in both of the airport's terminals.
However, travelers headed to Hawaii cannot use the vending machine tests as part of the State of Hawaii Department of Health's pre-travel testing program.
This week, the vending machine kiosk also made its debut in New York City. The first location is in Manhattan's midtown but Wellness 4 Humanity expects to open more at various locations like subway stations, hotels, and entertainment venues throughout the city, according to Time Out New York.
The vending machine testing programs are scheduled to also appear in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Dallas, with the potential to roll out to more cities across America this year.
Although this is the first testing machine in an airport, it is not the first time that COVID-19 gear has been sold from a vending machine. Last year, Las Vegas McCarren debuted a vending machine that sold face masks, gloves and sanitizing wipes.
Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.
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