Passengers flying from Heathrow to Hong Kong this week will be the first to have the option of paying for a rapid Covid-19 test before checking in, as part of a trial to help tourists travel to destinations where proof of a negative Covid-19 test is compulsory.
At this moment in time, the test is only for those travelling from Heathrow to Hong Kong. However, it does not reduce the amount of time travellers need to quarantine for upon their return (or arrival) to the UK.
It has been reported that if the trial is a success then this type of testing could be rolled out across more airports and countries in an attempt to restore confidence in travelling once again.
The new Covid-19 test costs around £80 per person and must be paid for upfront. The benefit of this rapid test is that it guarantees to have the test result back within the hour, which means that tourists will arrive in their intended destination knowing that they, at that point, are Covid free.
Transport secretary, Grant Shapps, also announced this week that he hopes with a solid testing system in place, the current 14-day quarantine requirement could be almost halved by December.
Shapps outlined a potential ‘test-and-release’ plan whereby passengers arriving in the UK take a PCR Covid-19 test, at their own expense, a week after their arrival to rule out any infection.
Those who test negative for Covid-19 will be able to stop isolating. Those who test positive will have to continue isolating.
The transport secretary also revealed his plans to allow travel between the UK and US to resume by using pre-flight testing as well as possible measures quarantine before departure.
The new tests and trials are looking promising for the travel industry. However, we urge holidaymakers to check the cover in their travel insurance policy to make sure that if they do receive a positive Covid-19 test at the airport they have cover to cancel their holiday.
It’s worth noting that this cover is not available as standard, so you must check your policy wording for more detail, and contact your travel insurance provider it you have any queries.
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