aviation industry

London Heathrow unveils rapid pre-flight virus tests

Agence France-Presse, Agence France-Presse
London Heathrow unveils rapid pre-flight virus tests

Passengers walk through the arrivals hall after landing at Terminal 2 of London Heathrow Airport on May 9, 2020. - Britain could introduce a 14-day mandatory quarantine for international arrivals to stem the spread of coronavirus as part of its plan to ease the lockdown, an airline association said Saturday, sparking alarm in an industry already badly hit by the global pandemic. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

The LAMP saliva test will cost £80 ($102) and is available initially for passengers flying to Italy and Hong Kong from Heathrow Airport Terminals 2 and 5

London’s Heathrow Airport on Tuesday, October 20, began to roll out paid-for rapid coronavirus testing, with results in one hour, as it seeks to boost demand decimated by the deadly pandemic.

The LAMP saliva test, which does not have to be processed in a laboratory, will cost £80 ($102) per passenger and is available initially for passengers flying to Italy and Hong Kong from Terminals 2 and 5.

The COVID-19 test will provide results more quickly than those used by Britain’s state-run National Health Service, according to the Heathrow test providers – aviation services company Collinson and logistics firm Swissport.

Passengers will be asked to register online for the test before traveling to Heathrow, which is based west of the British capital.

Collinson and Swissport described the tests as a “critical step” in the aviation sector’s recovery, “restoring traveler confidence and reopening routes from the UK to the rest of the world.”

Italy and Hong Kong require passengers to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test prior to departure, a statement added.

However the British government last week removed Italy from its travel corridor list, meaning travelers from the country have to quarantine on entering the UK.

Passengers arriving in Britain from Italy, San Marino, and the Vatican State now have to self-isolate for 14 days, under new guidance that came into force on Sunday, October 18.

Italy joined other major tourist destinations on the list, including France and Spain, as a second wave of the coronavirus sweeps Europe and triggers stricter curbs on public life.

New British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle on Monday, October 19 urged the UK government to end the quarantining of passengers arriving from abroad in order to boost tourism and kick-start economic growth. – Rappler.com

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