Manchester Airport has today launched a new Covid-19 testing facility.
The full range of tests – RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, Rapid Antigen and Antibody - will be available to all passengers in a new, purpose-built facility just outside of the main terminal building. They will be delivered in partnership with airport services and travel medical provider, Collinson.
Certain governments allow pre-departure tests in order to shorten or completely alleviate quarantine requirements in the destination country. Others require them in order to gain entry. Having a full range of tests available at the airport – for any passenger planning to fly who does not suspect they have COVID-19 - will let passengers choose whichever process they need to meet the pre-departure testing requirements.
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.
The scheme, announced last week, will launch on December 15th and allow travellers arriving from higher risk countries to reduce their period of quarantine by taking a test five days after they arrive in the UK.
'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.
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.
Managing Director of Manchester Airport, Karen Smart, said: "As the UK emerges from a ban on international travel, we know our passengers are keen to start flying again, but that many of Manchester Airport's most popular destinations, such as the Canary Islands, require a negative test before you arrive.
"This new facility will make the process of showing you're infection-free when planning and booking a holiday as easy and cost-effective as possible in the current circumstances. Our new booking platform makes it easy to select the right test for your destination, and at the location that is most convenient for you. Located right by the terminal building means passengers can either opt for a test on the day of departure before they go through security, or visit in the run up to their journey at a time to suit them.
"This also means Manchester is 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 if they test negative after five days.
"This is the latest example of MAG leading the way as we look to work with Government and the rest of our industry to get Britain flying again."
The airport's service will cater for both outbound and inbound testing, and adapt as Government travel requirements change. Its online booking portal will allow passengers to choose the correct test and testing location for their specific requirements – whether at the dedicated airport facilities or elsewhere.
David Evans, Joint CEO, Collinson said: "In order to restore confidence in travel, it is critical that travellers can navigate the many different testing regimes now required by different governments around the world. We were the first company to set up COVID testing facilities at a UK airport and our partnership with MAG will bring comprehensive testing facilities to Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands Airports. This is a major step forward in opening up the UK to safe travel.
"Our new facilities will also support the UK Government's 'Test To Release' programme, scheduled for launch on December 15, and are flexible enough to respond to any changing requirements or legislation from both a pre-departure and inbound testing perspective. Having breadth of testing capability and the flexibility to scale is critical to ensuring the aviation and travel sector can recover from this pandemic, helping to protect jobs and restore consumer confidence."