December 4, 2020 12.16 pm This story is over 41 months old

Local airports offering pre-flight COVID-19 tests

Could cut quarantine to just five days

By Local Democracy Reporter

People flying from Doncaster Sheffield Airport or East Midlands Airport will be able to book pre-flight COVID-19 tests to reduce isolation periods in other countries.

Flights to popular destinations are becoming more regular after England’s international travel ban was lifted.

The travel regulations now state that the 14-day quarantine period when leaving the country can be reduced to just five days, as long as a negative COVID-19 test result is provided.

Passengers coming back to the UK still do not require a quarantine period upon their return, if the country you are leaving is on the government’s travel corridor list.

In response to this, airlines at Doncaster Sheffield Airport will offer discounted Test & Release kits to its customers, calling it the ‘Fit to Fly’ package.

Wizz Air will offer the kit, which includes a PCR (throat and nasal swab) test and certificate, at £85 per person, while TUI will provide discount codes for passengers to receive next day delivery on home testing kits.

Passengers at East Midlands Airport will be able to access a new facility, which offers a range of private tests.

Airport testing prices will start at £40 for antibody tests, £50 for antigen (lateral flow) tests, £79 for LAMP (isothermal amplification) tests and £99 for PCR tests.

The main difference between the tests is that PCR tests require changes of temperature to show results, unlike LAMP tests, which means results take longer to appear.

East Midlands is also allowing people to book pre-flight testing appointments at 50 selected Boots stores in the UK, before they have even set foot in the airport.

Passengers will be able to access Boots’ in-store RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test, which returns results within 48 hours and is designed for customers who do not think they have COVID-19.

These tests are being offered to the public to try and shrink quarantine times when flying to and from other countries.

EMA managing director Clare James, said: “As England emerges from a ban on international travel, we know our passengers are keen to start flying again.

“However, many of the most popular destinations that passengers fly to from EMA require a negative test before visitors arrive in the country.

“Subject to the relevant tests securing Government approval, this could free people from quarantine after just five days.

“Our goal is to make testing available to as many passengers as possible, helping to get the country flying again as England comes out of its second lockdown.”

Chris Harcombe, Aviation Development Director at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: “This has been an extremely challenging year for airlines, airports and the aviation industry as a whole as we have seen a reduction of over 80% in passenger traffic.

“Operators have had to be agile and TUI and Wizz have responded to the easing of lockdown and the introduction of Test and Release by adding extra flights to popular destinations as well as discounts for testing kits, in a move to get passengers back in the air.”