One-hour £80 coronavirus airport tests that could cut quarantines launch today
20 October 2020, 10:27
Rapid coronavirus tests that could boost international travel are launching at Heathrow Airport.
Covid-19 tests that give a result in just one hour are launching at Heathrow Airport today.
The tests were introduced to enable travellers to visit countries that require a negative test result to enter, and could provide a boost to international travel.
Those wishing to take a test will need to book in advance and pay an £80 fee.
They are initially for those flying to Hong Kong and Italy, which allow quick pre-flight tests as evidence the traveller doesn't have coronavirus.
The government is also reportedly in talks to make the tests available for those travelling to between the UK and US.
According to The Sun, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has told airline chiefs that the public could be released from quarantine if they pass the 'rapid daily tests'.
Other potential options include no quarantine with daily tests, and a pre-departure test scheme.
However, Mr Shapps could not say when the new measures would be in place, as it would require cooperation between international air travel companies.
He said: "We’re talking to the US Homeland Security and others. We’d like to get trials set up. That could mean a series of tests involving quarantine before and after flights - or, ultimately, no quarantine at all if the technology is there for rapid daily tests."