Quarantine busting COVID-19 tests available at Vienna Airport
Vienna Airport (VIE) has begun offering COVID-19 tests to passengers as part of a series of initiatives designed to make it safer and easier to visit the Austrian capital.
Passengers and employees are already required to wear protective face masks throughout the entire terminal area, which remains open to handle scheduled flights between Vienna and Doha, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Lisbon, Minsk and Sofia.
All passenger operations at VIE are currently concentrated in Terminal 3, where check-in, boarding and information desks are equipped with plexiglass social distancing shields. Distance markings are placed throughout the boarding areas and hand disinfection stands have been installed in the terminal.
In case of bus boarding, the number of passengers per bus is being limited in order to ensure that a sufficient safety distances are maintained. In addition, each airline has also defined their own protective measures for flight operations, such as mandatory face masks on board.
And from this week the airport has begun offering passengers the chance to take a molecular-biological COVID-19 test (also known as a PCR test) at a laboratory at Office Park 3 on the ground floor of the terminal building.
Passing the test would enable inbound travellers to avoid the country’s compulsory 14-day quarantine period for those without a medical certificate confirming that they don’t have COVID-19.
The test costs €190, and have to be scheduled in advance by arriving or departing passengers, with the results available within two to three hours. Those that provide a positive test would automatically have to go into quarantine.
PCR tests are said to differ from antibody tests in that they confirm a COVID-19 infection rather than a person’s exposure to it in the past.
“In this way, flights are now safer and easier – regardless of whether they involve business trips or urgent trips with on-demand aircraft within the context of general aviation,” says an airport statement.
“If the test turns out to be negative, the passenger does not have to isolate themselves in self-quarantine in Austria for 14 days. In this way, quarantine periods which have already been commenced can also be prematurely terminated.
“Positive test results are immediately reported to public authorities, who will initiate appropriate steps to treat the affected person.”
The on-site testing is being carried out by Confidence DNA Analysen GmbH in conjunction with VIE and the Austrian authorities.
Last week, joint airport CEO, Julian Jäger, used social media to report on what the airport was doing during the current downturn in operations, and took the opportunity to praise staff for their efforts in helping keep VIE safe and operationally ready for more traffic.
In a post on Linkedin, he noted: “We keep our operations running! Currently there are only a few hundred passengers to arrive or depart at hashtag#ViennaAirport each day. Still, everything needs to work smoothly. That’s why our colleagues are on a daily mission to maintain our facilities, for example our baggage handling system.
“Thus we prepare our infrastructure for a step-by-step recovery in hashtag#aviation. I want to thank all our employees for sticking together even closer throughout these difficult times!”