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Covid tests will now be available at all three UK airports, in the largest airport testing scheme in the country so far. All types of coronavirus tests – RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, Rapid Antigen and Antibody – will be available to all passengers at Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports. 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.
The move will grant passengers flying from these key hubs maximum flexibility.
It also coincides with the lifting of England’s international travel ban after the country exited full lockdown yesterday.
Numerous destinations now require proof of a negative covid test so the new testing centres at the three airports will be a boon for many travellers.
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.
So far, if holidaymakers travel to any country which isn’t on the UK’s travel corridor list, they have needed to self-isolate for 14 days in a bid to limit the spread of coronavirus, but from December 15, this quarantine period will be reduced to five days under the new measures.
Travellers will have to undergo a covid test and receive a negative result in order to only quarantine for the five-day period.
The tests will not be available for the NHS and will need to be obtained privately.
To be taken five days after returning from a ‘quarantine’ country, they will cost between £65 and £120.
Results will normally be issued in 24 to 48 hours, meaning people could be released from quarantine six days after arrival.
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.
MAG passengers will also be able to access a five percent discount at Boots’ in-store RT-PCR Covid-19 testing service, which customers can access through the airport’s website.
The service 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 CEO Charlie Cornish said: “With many countries now welcoming visitors who can show they are infection-free, we wanted to make the process of planning a holiday or business trip as easy and cost-effective as possible in the current circumstances.
“That is why we have created a booking option on our website, which enables you to select the right test for the right destination, and at the location that is most convenient for you – either at one of our airports or on the high street.
“With the right facilities and booking system in place, we are also perfectly placed to support the introduction of a UK arrivals testing regime, which will enable travellers to reduce the length of time they need to self-isolate.
“Subject to the relevant tests securing government approval, this could free people from quarantine after just five days.”
MAG hopes that the costs of the private tests will come down over time as technology improves.
The operator also said its offering will change to match testing for travel as it evolves in the coming month.
“MAG will help its passengers to navigate the various requirements for testing but ultimately passengers should always check the latest travel advice from Government before taking a test,” the company warned.
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