The testing option may offer a bit of hope for an industry that has been trying to reinstall passenger confidence ever since the virus decimated travel.
The take-home Saliva RT-PCT tests can be found at contactless kiosks located within both of the airport's terminals, airport officials announced Wednesday.
Customers must take the test on their own and return a saliva sample by FedEx. Customers will then receive the results through a mobile app, officials said.
Digital health company Wellness 4 Humanity designed the test kits, while the vending machines are produced by Swyft.
And although access to these kits will be easy, they'll still run you a pretty penny, ranging in price from $130 to $150.
Even with the testing option, Oakland Aviation Director Bryant Francis is still encouraging "travelers to make sure they are current on any quarantines and regulations at their destinations.”
Officials said that "circumstances of travel-related COVID testing are continually changing" and travelers should familiarize themselves with the latest regulations at their destination.
The airport's test option also is not part of Hawaii's pre-travel testing program, which allows travelers to come to the islands without quarantining for two weeks if they produce a negative coronavirus test.
Still, it's a significant step in boosting testing options for weary travelers. Since the pandemic brought travel to a near standstill last winter, industry officials have been pushing for preflight testing to replace broad travel restrictions between the U.S. and the rest of the world. In some cases, they have arranged for passengers to avoid quarantines after arrival by getting tested before their flight.
In December, American Airlines announced that all of its domestic passengers will now have access to an at-home test prior to their departure. The Los Angeles International Airport also announced that it would roll out voluntary rapid onsite testing centers in the first week of December that would provide results within hours.
“Testing does not eliminate all risk,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a statement. “But when combined with a period of staying at home and everyday precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer, healthier, and more responsible by reducing spread on planes, in airports, and at destinations.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.