London Stansted Airport has today launched a new Covid testing facility, as part of a move by its parent company, Manchester Airports Group (MAG).
The announcement means the full range of tests – RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, Rapid Antigen and Antibody – will be available to all passengers in a new, purpose-built facility inside the main terminal building. They will be delivered in partnership with airport services and travel medical provider, Collinson.
MAG, the UK’s largest airport group, also became the first operator to give its passengers the chance to book discounted pre-flight testing appointments on the high street at selected Boots UK stores.
The news means passengers using Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands Airports will be given maximum flexibility when planning their trips, and comes in the week that the UK Government lifts England’s international travel ban.
Certain governments allow pre-departure tests in order to shorten or completely alleviate quarantine requirements in the destination country. Others require them in order to gain entry. Having a full range of tests available at the airport – for any passenger planning to fly who does not suspect they have COVID-19 – will let MAG passengers choose whichever process they need to meet the pre-departure testing requirements of many of MAG’s most popular markets, such as Spain and Italy, as well as some long-haul destinations.
Passengers will also be able to book the tests they need to shorten their self-isolation period upon return under the UK Government’s ‘Test to Release’ scheme.
The scheme, announced last week, will launch on December 15th and allow travellers arriving from higher risk countries to reduce their period of quarantine by taking a test five days after they arrive in the UK.
‘Test to Release’ follows in the footsteps of a number of countries who are already offering quarantine-free inbound travel to those able to provide evidence of a negative test.
Boots offers an in-store RT-PCR Covid-19 testing service, which returns results within 48 hours from more than 50 stores across the UK, specifically for customers who do not suspect they have Covid-19. MAG passengers will be able to access a 5% discount, which customers can access through the airport’s website.
Airport testing prices through Collinson start at £40 for Antibody tests, £50 for Antigen tests, £79 for RT-LAMP tests and £99 for RT-PCR tests.