Great Britain

How easy is it to get a Heathrow Covid test? How do I book and can anyone do it?

ONE-HOUR Covid tests for holidaymakers have launched at Heathrow, giving a boost to international air travel.

The tests are being rolled out for passengers who are travelling to countries that require a negative coronavirus test in order to avoid being quarantined.

The pre-departure testing facilities have launched at Heathrow Airport in Terminals 2 and 5.

The tests are initially only being offered to passengers travelling to Hong Kong, with plans to roll them out to further destinations.

The testing by Collinson and Swisspor is a rapid, LAMP type, test that returns a result in approximately 60 minutes.

LAMP tests are genetic tests used to detect the RNA of the virus, which are performed all at one temperature.

There are other tests available but this type fulfills the pre-departure testing requirements for passengers who are travelling to Hong Kong.

Passengers travelling to Hong Kong only, can pre-book a test, which must be booked online via before travelling to the airport.

The test costs £80 and results can be available in around 60 minutes, although the first passengers who received the tests today reported that they took as little as 20 minutes.

The Government is also in talks with the US over a trial of pre-departure tests between the two countries.

Similar 15-minute tests were rolled out for the first time yesterday on asymptomatic NHS staff at hospitals in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Basingstoke and Southampton.  

The aviation industry has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic with passenger numbers down by as much as 90 per cent on some routes.

In the UK, anyone arriving from around 150 ‘high risk’ countries, has to self-isolate for 14 days.

The Government sent up a task force last month to look out how the country could be opened up to international travel.

The aviation industry is pushing for pre-flight tests to become a long-term solution to the problem.

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