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UK Begins Rapid COVID-19 Testing At London Heathrow

Rapid COVID-19 tests are being offered to passengers travelling to Hong Kong from London Heathrow, in a move that aims to "safely open up travel out of the UK."

Rapid COVID-19 tests are being offered to passengers travelling to Hong Kong from London Heathrow, in a move that aims to “safely open up travel out of the UK.”

The return of international travel for Australians is in sight, albeit, a tad different to before. But, hey, we’ll take what we can get right now.

Meanwhile, 17,000km away in London, passengers flying from Heathrow to Hong Kong now have the option to pre-book a rapid COVID-19 test to take at the airport prior to checking in on an international flight.

This pre-departure facilities, located in Terminals 2 and 5, opened on Tuesday 20 October are the first of their kind in the UK.

How does the testing work?

Rapid Testing

The ‘test on arrival’ must be pre-booked, costs AU$147, and will give passengers their results back within an hour.

According to the Guardian, despite the fact that ‘a very limited number of passengers are expected to use the facility this week, the move is regarded as a significant breakthrough in demonstrating the possibility of clearing passengers as healthy before travel and potentially ending quarantine rules.’

Two types of tests – LAMP and Antigen – will be used for the airport rapid testing and can easily be administered pre-flight at the airport.

For now, the option is available to passengers travelling to countries that require pre-departure testing requirements at the airport before they fly, but there is a high chance it will be rolled out to more – or all – flights as time goes on.

Cathay Pacific, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airlines are already flying routes that require pre-departure tests, so this new experience should offer a safe and seamless new way of travelling.

Passengers travelling from LHR will need to book a test in advance at www.collinsongroup.com

What does this mean for Australian travellers?

Rapid Testing

The launch of the pre-departure testing should help the travel ecosystem begin to move again, as well as helping passengers stay healthy and fly with confidence.

“Ultimately, we need a Common International Standard for pre-departure testing, and we welcome the UK government’s recent announcement that it wants to take a global lead in establishing this. We will work with them to make this happen as soon as possible so that we protect livelihoods as well as lives.”

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow CEO

If tests start to happen at airports around the world, millions of jobs could be saved, the tourism industry can resume and people could be reunited with their families once more.

Would you feel happier travelling if you knew that all passengers had been cleared just hours before departure?

Click here for more information.

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