Collinson and Swissport are working with Heathrow Airport to offer a pilot of their COVID-19 testing procedure, as reported by Travel Trends Today. Being the first of its kind in the UK, the pilot will mean passengers can be checked for COVID-19 upon landing at Heathrow and know the results just hours later. All three organizations are counting on ‘Test-on-Arrival’ procedure to provide a solution to those traveling from places not included on last week’s list of countries exempt from quarantine if the Government also adds people testing negative during the process to its list of exemptions.
The trial can be an alternative to quarantine
This was announced a couple of weeks after Collinson and Swissport introduced ‘Test-on-Arrival’ as a potential alternative to the 14-day quarantine policy. Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, said: “The Government made a significant step forward last week by removing quarantine for visitors from many countries, but we still need a solution that safely allows passengers to travel to and from higher-risk countries. This trial with Swissport and Collinson will provide a much-needed alternative to quarantine for those arriving passengers and should add further momentum to the Government’s push for Common International Standards which are needed for the resumption of global travel.”
The pilot of the new testing procedure is a private service to anyone with a flight landing in Heathrow Terminal 2. Passengers are required to set up an account and book their test online, before traveling to the UK. Collinson nurses will carry out the tests in a Swissport facility on arrival at the airport. During the appointment, a swab will be taken for testing. It is then sent to a Collinson biotech lab near Heathrow, using the same transportation protocols the NHS uses for home swab tests.
The tests are sensitive enough to detect COVID-19 particles, even when a passenger doesn’t show any symptoms. Passengers, traveling from a country where quarantine is still required, should continue from Heathrow to the address they provided at the time of booking, while they wait for test results, which they’ll receive within 24 hours.
“We launched the tests to help get the travel ecosystem moving again, using science to reassure the public it’s safe to do so,” said David Evans, Joint CEO at Collinson. “PCR testing is the gold standard of COVID-19 testing, used by the NHS and Public Health England, as it is able to detect the virus even when someone is asymptomatic.”