London Luton Airport in the UK has opened a drive-through Covid-19 testing centre for National Health Service (NHS) staff and other essential workers.

The opening of the appointment-only testing centre is part of the government’s efforts to further strengthen the national network of testing centres.

Located at the Luton Airport’s mid-stay car park, the testing site is being operated by military personnel.

Besides NHS workers and other frontline workers, the centre will also serve their families, as well as suspected cases above five years of age.

However, the testing service will not be available for airport passengers.

London Luton Airport CEO Alberto Martin said: “The desire from our teams and partners to support those in greatest need during these extraordinary times fills me with admiration for our people and wider airport community.

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“With their backing and the support of our shareholders, we will do all we can to support both our local community, and the wider national effort in tackling the pandemic.”

The introduction of the new testing site at Luton Airport is expected to further increase the amount of Covid-19 testing in the UK. NHS workers that test negative may resume work at the earliest, while those who test positive must self-isolate.

Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) Clinical Commissioning Groups chair Dr Nicola Smith said: “The setting up of pop-up testing centres has contributed to controlling the spread of Covid-19 locally.

“I would like to thank London Luton Airport and all the other organisations who have assisted us in carrying out this essential work by making their sites available.”

Similar Covid-19 testing centres have also been opened at Edinburgh Airport, London Stansted Airport and Glasgow Airport.