Covid-19: UK plans to introduce airport testing

7 September 2020 (Last Updated September 7th, 2020 11:39)

The UK is reportedly planning to introduce an in-airport Covid-19 testing arrangement amid increasing pressures from airlines and travel companies to scrap the current quarantine rules.

Covid-19: UK plans to introduce airport testing
Under the new system, passengers will be tested for Covid-19 twice, once when they land at the airport and again a week later. Credit: Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay.

The UK is reportedly planning to introduce an in-airport Covid-19 testing arrangement amid increasing pressures from airlines and travel companies to scrap the current quarantine rules.

According to a Financial Times report, the UK Government is assessing the feasibility of moving to a system where passengers will be tested for Covid-19 when they arrive at British airports.

The move may reduce the need for passengers to remain in self-isolation from 14 days to a minimum of seven.

Under the new system, passengers will be tested twice, once they land and again a week later. If the results of both tests are negative, they can break their quarantine after seven days.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News: “You probably have to have some kind of quarantine period here, perhaps seven or eight days, maybe a test then. But these are the things we’re working through at the moment.”

However, Shapps did not provide a time frame for the introduction of the new testing regime.

This comes after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson endorsed the current quarantine system as the airport system will not be effective in identifying all virus cases.

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the global aviation industry, with revenues anticipated to shrink by 60% compared to the projected baseline (pre-Covid-19 forecast for 2020).

To support the recovery of the sector, the airline industry has called for an airport testing regime, which, if not negative, will reduce the need of a 14-day quarantine period.