London Gatwick to introduce new COVID-19 screening service
It will cost money to use, but London Gatwick and ExpressTest today announced the opening of a brand-new COVID-19 screening centre at the airport.
The site, located within the airport’s Long Stay Car Park at the South Terminal, will offer a fast and accurate and lab-analysed PCR swab test.
It will be available for both passengers, employees based at Gatwick and the general public, including local residents, from Monday, November 30, at a cost of £60 for passengers and airport staff and £99 for the general public.
A group discount is also offered, with up to 30% off for groups of four or more, for those who are having the full priced test.
The facility is for air passengers who may require a valid, negative COVID-19 test certificate for destinations requiring one from up to 96 hours before travel, with passengers needing to check with travel providers that the test meets the specific requirements destinations ask for.
According to Gatwick, it will also help those who may simply want extra assurance that they are not currently carrying the virus.
The facility could also, with any necessary amendments, satisfy requirements of the UK government’s expected “test and release” post arrival scheme allowing air passengers to reduce quarantine time required after travelling back from certain destinations.
Anyone with recognisable COVID-19 symptoms will still need to use an NHS testing facility.
Gatwick CEO, Stewart Wingate, says: “Reducing the spread of COVID-19 is a priority for us alongside giving confidence to so many people who have missed travelling during this difficult year.
“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.”
Bookings open from November 27, with the first test available on Monday, November 30.
To book a test, people will need to visit www.expresstest.co.uk and select a date and time. Customers will then be sent a QR code which they must bring with them to their appointment, along with their passport or employee ID.
Payment will be taken during the booking process. Opening hours are 08.00 to 20.00 and customers are asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to appointments.