Gatwick Airport welcomes new COVID-19 testing facility

Published on : Saturday, November 21, 2020

Gatwick Airport and ExpressTest have joined hands to welcome the opening of a new COVID-19 screening centre. Located within the long stay car park at the South Terminal, the site will a fast and accurate and lab-analysed PCR swab test. It will be available for both passengers, employees based at Gatwick and the general public, including local residents, starting Monday, November 23. 

The facility has been mainly introduced for air passengers who may require a valid, negative COVID-19 test certificate for destinations requiring one from up to 96 hours before travel, with passengers needing to check with travel providers that the test meets the specific requirements destinations ask for. It will also help those who may simply want extra assurance that they are not currently carrying the virus. 

With all necessary amendments, the facility can also satisfy requirements of the expected “test and release” post arrival scheme allowing air passengers in order to reduce quarantine time required after travelling back from certain destinations. However, anyone with recognisable COVID-19 symptoms will still need to use an NHS testing facility. Stewart Wingate, Chief executive, Gatwick Airport, said in a statement that reducing the spread of COVD-19 is the main priority alongside giving confidence to so many people who have missed travelling during the difficult year.

He shared that the new screening facility is also a convenient service to offer people in the region looking for extra reassurance. He mentioned that authorities are pleased to be subsidising the price for 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.

He added that besides the  “test and release” scheme from the government, the airport wants 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. He concluded that a truly international approach would safely open up most of the U.K.’s travel routes abroad, while also helping to reduce transmission of the virus.

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