COVID testing site to open at Gatwick Airport.
A Covid-19 screening centre is to open at Gatwick at the end of the month. The site, located within the airport’s South Terminal long stay car park will offer a rapid lab-analysed PCR swab test. The service will be available for both passengers, employees based at Gatwick and the general public, including local residents, from November 30.
Passengers and Gatwick staff will be charged a subsidised rate of £60 to use the screening service, while others will pay £99. The facility could also satisfy requirements of the government’s expected “test and release” post-arrival scheme allowing air passengers to reduce quarantine time required after travelling back from certain destinations.
COVID Test Discounts
A group discount is also offered, with up to 30% off for groups of four or more, for those who are having the full-priced test. Gatwick chief executive 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.”
He added: “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.”
The aviation sector has been crippled by the pandemic and airlines are desperate for travel restrictions to be relaxed to spur demand. Passengers flying to and from Gatwick between July and September were down 86 per cent compared with the same period last year.
Testing is seen by many in the industry as the key to unlock the restrictions throttling freedom to travel and revive the sector. Gatwick chief executive 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.
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