Cyprus Mail
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Heathrow to start 1-hour Covid-19 tests

Arrivals get results in one hour.

Passengers travelling to Hong Kong and Italy from Britain’s Heathrow Airport will undergo a one-hour coronavirus test before flying out of the United Kingdom under plans to open up international travel, The Times reported on Tuesday.

Rapid tests will be introduced from Tuesday at Heathrow Airport to allow travellers to enter countries where a negative COVID-19 test result is needed to skip quarantine, the newspaper said.

Passengers require to book a test in advance at a cost of £80 pounds ($103), The Times said.

The FT reported: “Many other countries are already using testing to keep their borders safe while restarting trade and travel,” said John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow. “These facilities will make it easier for passengers going to those countries to get a test and have the potential to provide a service for arriving passengers.”
It is unclear whether arrivals would receive a testing kit in the airport to administer at home themselves or have to return to the airport to be tested under the government’s plans.
Aviation services firms Collinson and Swissport have set up rapid testing facilities for outbound passengers at Heathrow, the newspaper said.

The testing facilities will initially be open for four weeks and could be extended depending on passenger demand, the report added.

Airlines including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific 0293.HK are among the first to be offering the facility to passengers in Terminals 2 and 5, Financial Times reported.

British Airways’ new chief executive Sean Doyle told the FT: “There is a risk that as an industry we will not see beyond this crisis if we do not first address the issue of how we get people flying again.

Meanwhile, British Transport Minister Grant Shapps said on Monday that he would push for an agreement on new travel corridors with the United States.

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