26 OCTOBER 2020


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Article from BTNews 26 OCTOBER 2020

Heathrow departures tested

Last Tuesday (20 October) saw the first passengers finally through the trial Covid-19 tests at Heathrow Terminals 2 and 5 en route to Hong Kong.

The programme, long promoted by the airport with the assistance of Collison and Swissport, offers passengers travelling to Hong Kong the option to fulfil Covid-19 pre-departure testing requirements therefore meeting obligations at the destination gateway.  British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic all provide daily flights to Hong Kong.  

The private test costs £80 and aims to provide departing passengers with their results in around 60min. Passengers are asked to ensure they book a test ahead of time and provide timing guidelines with regard to check-in by their airline.  The testing facilities will initially be open for four weeks, monitoring passenger and airline demand.

The new facilities process LAMP tests including Antigen as global governments, but not the UK, continue to accept a wider variety of testing methods as an alternative to travel restrictions and quarantines.
These tests differ from RT-PCR, which a growing number of countries and territories around the world, including Cyprus, Greece, Bahamas and Bermuda, now require to be shown at check-in. Unlike RT-PCR tests, LAMP and Antigen tests can be processed quickly and without being sent to a laboratory.

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All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

Tony Tyler,

Please could you clarify - does this mean that if you do this test at LHR before departure, you donít have to have the test on arrival in HK? That test (which takes 12 hours or so during which time you have to wait) has been mandatory for many months now.

Sandra Stein, London

We have a government out of touch. Why not support the Heathrow tests?. The IATA/ICAO common phone passport must be the best solution.

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