Gatwick Airport is set to open a Covid-19 screening centre as the UK fights to contain a new wave of coronavirus cases.

The site is located within the airport’s Long Stay Car Park at the South Terminal and is scheduled to open on 30 November while advance testing bookings will commence later this week.

The centre will be equipped to offer a fast, accurate and lab-analysed PCR swab test for passengers and employees at Gatwick Airport, as well as for the general public. The results will be available the next day.

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said: “Reducing the spread of Covid-19 is a priority for us, alongside giving confidence to so many people who have missed travelling during this difficult year.

“Our new screening facility is also a convenient service to offer people in the region looking for extra reassurance.  We are pleased to be subsidising the price for our passengers and any staff based at Gatwick so they are compliant with current destination requirements that many of airlines including easyJet, British Airways and TUI fly to.”

The screening centre is expected to benefit passengers who require a valid, negative Covid-19 test certificate to travel to their destination.

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It will also fulfil the government’s expected ‘test and release’ scheme, with some adjustments. The scheme is aimed to reduce quarantines for arriving passengers, if they test negative for Covid-19.

ExpressTest Founder Nick Markham said: “We are delighted to be Gatwick Airport’s official screening partner.

“We launched ExpressTest to give people peace of mind, whether that’s enabling travel through our Fit to Fly certificates, or providing the reassurance needed to safely visit friends and family abroad or within the UK.”

The UK has confirmed more than 1.5 million Covid-19 cases, as of 23 November 2020. The death toll stands at 55,120.

Last month, Gatwick Airport announced plans to introduce a drop-off fee next year as it seeks to explore new channels to boost its revenues amid the pandemic.