Heathrow Airport is poised to become the UK’s first airport to pilot a Covid-19 test-on-arrival procedure.
The testing model was devised by Collinson, owner of Priority Pass, and airport ground handling company Swissport, as a potential alternative to the blanket 14-day quarantine policy.
If green lit by the government, this testing model could mean that arriving passengers from high-risk countries can skip the quarantine process, if they test negative. Passengers who test positive will have to serve a 14-day quarantine.
The private service is available to arriving passengers in the airport’s Terminal 2. Passengers will need to book their test online prior to flying to the UK. Upon arrival at the airport, the test will be carried out by Collinson nurses in a Swissport facility, with the results to be out within hours.
The tests will be able to identify even asymptomatic passengers. If travelling from a country where quarantine is still required, passengers will be asked to proceed to their accommodation to wait for their test results, which they’ll receive within 24 hours.
Last week, the UK announced the lifting of the 14-day quarantine rule for passengers arriving from 59 countries and territories from July 10. The exemptions include Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong, but countries like the US and Portugal failed to make the list.