Heathrow Airport Terminals 2 and 5, begin mandatory coronavirus rapid testing including a raid saliva swab known as a Lamp (Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification) test for passengers travelling to Hong Kong on Tuesday before checking in costing £80 with result guaranteed within an hour. The aim is to help people travelling to destinations where proof of a negative result is required on arrival. Collinson, the company behind the initiative had hoped the test could be used to enter Italy, but talks with the Italian government are still continuing as several countries have classified the UK as being “ at-risk” meaning travellers from the UK face more restrictions.
The authorities in Hong Kong now require people to show they have a negative test result taken within 72 hours of a flight from London.
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific will now offer it to customers.
A Lamp test is slightly less sensitive but quicker than the PCR test, which is widely used in the NHS because the sample does not need to be sent to a laboratory.
Collinson which partners with Swissport, hopes testing will assist in opening up routes between the UK and other countries.
Although the Heathrow test is not sufficient for people travelling to some destinations like Cyprus, the Bahamas and Bermuda, as they require proof of a negative PCR test, which requires analysis in a laboratory.
The testing facility is not offered to passengers flying into the airport as UK’s two-week travel quarantine for passengers arriving from at-risk countries remains.