Passengers flying to Hong Kong and Italy from London Heathrow can take a quick Covid-19 test at the airport before checking in from Tuesday.
The test costs £ 80 and the results will be available within an hour.
The aim is to provide rapid Covid-19 testing for passengers traveling to destinations that require pre-departure testing, including Hong Kong and Italy.
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific, which are all flight routes for which pre-departure testing is required, will, according to the two companies that will conduct the testing, Collinson, a medical and safety support company, and the first airlines, who conduct these tests Swissport, the ground and freight company.
A throat and nose swab will be taken to test for Covid-19. The test is known as the loop-mediated isothermal amplification test (lamp test). It is different from a PCR test used by the NHS in that it can be processed quickly without being sent to a laboratory.
What are the quarantine rules?
Anyone entering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from a location that is not on that country’s list of exempt travel corridors must self-isolate for 14 days.
What if the rules are not the same between different countries in the UK?
You can’t bypass the rules when using a different airport. For example, from September 4th, travelers returning to Wales and Scotland from Portugal will have to be quarantined. This also applies if you are flying into an English airport, even though Portugal is still on England’s green list.
How are the rules enforced?
Anyone entering the UK, including UK nationals, is required to fill out a passenger search form, whether or not they need to be quarantined. The form asks travelers to provide their contact details and UK address.
If someone in need of self-isolation does not provide an address, the government will arrange housing at the traveler’s expense.
What does quarantine mean that you can’t?
For 14 days, starting the day after arrival, people in quarantine should not:
- Go to work, school, or public areas.
- Have visitors except for essential assistance.
- Go out to buy groceries or other essentials when you can trust others to do it for you.
- Whenever possible, use taxis or public transport to get to your destination on arrival in the UK.
- Use public transport or taxis once at your destination.
The quarantine rules apply to all but selected groups of people such as freight drivers, very regular business travelers and politicians or other dignitaries.
How do I find out which countries are on the list?
The travel restrictions are updated regularly and are available on the government and administration websites linked here with separate lists for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
The tests will be carried out by Collinson nurses in new facilities in Heathrow Terminals 2 and 5. Passengers must book their test online with Collinson before going to the airport.
The swab is processed at the airport by employees of a Collinson biotech partner, Prenetics.
The lamp test is less sensitive than the PCR test but is considered better than an antigen test, another quick option.
Heathrow Airport General Manager John Holland-Kaye said: “Many other countries are already using tests to protect their borders while resuming trade and travel. These facilities will make it easier for passengers traveling to these countries to get a test and have the potential to provide service to incoming passengers. “
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Collinson and Swissport have built a test-on-arrival facility at Heathrow which must be approved by the UK government before it can be used. The aviation industry is calling on the government to introduce a test regime that is a safe alternative to the 14-day quarantine.
The news comes a day after Grant Shapps, the UK’s transport secretary, said a “test-and-release system” should be put in place to shorten the quarantine period for international arrivals in the UK by December 1st.
David Evans, Collinson’s joint managing director, said, “With countries around the world adding the UK to their high risk lists, we need to find a way to work with governments, leading travel brands and other trading companies securely in opening trips from the UK. “