Gatwick Airport and ExpressTest (a division of Cignpost Diagnostics Limited) are to open a Covid-19 screening center, located within the airport’s Long Stay Car Park at the South Terminal. It will offer lab-analyzed PCR swab tests to both passengers, employees based at Gatwick and the general public, including local residents.
The facility is for air passengers who may require a valid, negative Covid-19 test certificate for destinations requiring one from up to 96 hours before travel. The facility could also, with any necessary amendments, satisfy requirements for the UK government’s expected ‘test and release’ post-arrival scheme allowing air passengers to reduce quarantine time required after traveling back from certain destinations. Air passengers and any employees based at Gatwick Airport will be charged a subsidized rate of £60 (US$80) to use the screening service, while it will also be available for the general public for £99 (US$131).
Stewart Wingate, chief executive officer, Gatwick Airport, commented, “Reducing the spread of Covid-19 is a priority for us alongside giving confidence to so many people who have missed traveling during this difficult year. Our industry has been decimated by the pandemic and, while we welcome the anticipated ‘test and release’ scheme from the government, we want to see an internationally agreed pre-departure testing regime, based on existing risk criteria, to replace the current uncertainty of quarantine and patchwork of testing approaches which currently exists across Europe. A truly international approach would safely open up most of the UK’s travel routes abroad, while also helping to reduce transmission of the virus.”
ExpressTest notes its tests are delivered using the latest gold standard PCR equipment that is fully CE-IVD-certified and manufactured to the highest possible standards, and tests are carried out by specially trained screening practitioners. The lab-analyzed test results will be emailed or texted to customers typically the next day, with airline passengers advised to schedule a test 48-96 hours prior to their departure time, as a precaution. Those who screen negative will be emailed a Fit to Fly certificate that is authorized by a doctor, along with their test result.