Passengers flying from London Heathrow to Hong Kong and Italy will be able to have a rapid Covid-19 test at the airport before checking in from Tuesday.

The test costs £80 and results will be available within an hour.

The aim is to provide rapid Covid-19 tests for passengers travelling to destinations that require pre-departure tests, including Hong Kong and Italy.

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific, which all fly routes that require pre-departure tests, will be the first airlines to offer it, according to the two companies that will run the testing, Collinson, a medical and security assistance firm, and Swissport, the ground and cargo handling company.

A throat and nose swab will be taken to test for Covid-19. The test is known as a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (Lamp) test. It differs from a PCR test, which is used by the NHS, because it can be processed quickly without being sent to a laboratory.

Anyone entering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from somewhere that is not on that country’s list of exempt travel corridors is required to go into self-isolation for 14 days.

You can’t get round the rules by using a different airport. For instance, as of 4 September travellers returning to Wales and Scotland from Portugal are required to quarantine. This is true even if they fly into an English airport, despite Portugal still being on England’s green list.

Everyone entering the UK, including British nationals, must fill in a passenger locator form, regardless of whether or not they need to quarantine. The form asks travellers to provide their contact details and UK address.

If someone who is required to self-isolate does not provide an address, the government will arrange accommodation at the traveller’s expense.

For 14 days, starting from the day after arrival, people who are quarantining should not:

The quarantine rules apply to everyone apart from selected groups of people such as freight drivers, very regular business travellers, and politicians or other dignitaries.

The travel restrictions are being frequently updated, and are available on the relevant government and administration websites linked to here, with separate lists covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

The tests will be carried out by Collinson nurses in new facilities within Heathrow terminals 2 and 5. Passengers must book their test online with Collinson before going to the airport.

The swab will be processed at the airport by staff from one of Collinson’s biotech partners, Prenetics.

The Lamp test is less sensitive than the PCR test, but is considered to be better than an antigen test, another rapid option.

John Holland-Kaye, the chief executive of Heathrow airport, said: “Many other countries are already using testing to keep their borders safe while restarting trade and travel. These facilities will make it easier for passengers going to those countries to get a test and have the potential to provide a service for arriving passengers.”

Collinson and Swissport have built a test-on-arrival facility at Heathrow that needs UK government approval before it can be used. The aviation industry is urging the government to launch a testing regime that provides a safe alternative to the 14-day quarantine.

The news comes a day after Grant Shapps, the UK transport secretary, said a “test-and-release system” to cut the quarantine period for international arrivals to the UK should be in place by 1 December.

David Evans, the Collinson joint chief executive, said: “With countries around the world adding the UK to their list of ‘high risk’ countries, we need to find a way to work with governments, leading travel brands and other commercial entities to safely open up travel out of the UK.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Lukaku hits double as Inter sink Genoa to keep pressure on Juventus

Internazionale put more pressure on stuttering the Serie A leaders Juventus when two goals by Romelu Lukaku and one from Alexis Sánchez gave them a 3-0 win at relegation-threatened Genoa on Saturday. Inter, who have two games left, moved above…

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell downplays scathing WSJ editorial in Adam Schiff interview

Congressman Lee Zeldin discusses if anything can be done to punish Adam Schiff for his actions during the Russia investigation and impeachment MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell spoke with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on Wednesday, hours after the Wall Street Journal published…

Saudi Arabia’s image problem ahead of G20 summit

Ten months ago Saudi Arabia’s royal family anticipated hosting this weekend’s G20 summit in the belief that the gathering of world leaders in Riyadh would be a showcase for the evolution of the kingdom. By extension it would be a…

Amy Klobuchar bows out of VP race, urges woman of colour instead

Former United States presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar says she is dropping out of the running to be vice president and urging Democrat Joe Biden to select a woman of colour instead. The white Minnesota senator, who had seen her prospects…