Gatwick is opening a Covid testing facility that it believes could meet requirements for the government’s expected ‘test and release’ scheme.
The site, located in the airport’s long stay car park, will offer tests for all passengers and staff at a subsidised rate of £60 and for the general public at £99.
The lab-analysed PCR swab tests can be booked from next Friday, 27 November, with the first appointments available on 30 November. Results will be known the following day.
Gatwick said it will particularly benefit passengers who require a negative Covid test to enter certain countries.
However, with test results not available until the followng day, that could mean two trips to the airport.
The airport said the facility could, with any necessary amendments, also satisfy requirements of the Government’s ‘test and release’ post arrival scheme that is expected to be launched in order to reduce quarantine period.
Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms will still need to use an NHS testing facility.
Chief Executive Stewart Wingate said: “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.
“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 site has been developed in conjunction with ExpressTest.