Air passengers should have the option of paying £150 for a test on arrival to slash COVID-19 quarantine times under a plan proposed by Heathrow Airport.
Heathrow is pressing the government to make changes to the coronavirus quarantine rules to allow testing areas where travellers are checked on arrival and again a few days later.
Currently, those arriving from the US, France, Spain and other countries have to self-isolate for 14 days, which Heathrow and the airlines say effectively stops most people travelling because of the inconvenience.
Germany has introduced a mandatory, free single COVID test for arrivals from high-risk countries and in a letter to the transport minister on Monday bosses of the main UK airlines urged the country to follow suit.
“We believe a UK testing protocol based on the German model would stimulate significant demand whilst protecting public health,” the letter said.
Heathrow’s testing facility has been set up by medical travel firm Collinson and airport services company Swissport in Terminal 2 and could process 13,000 tests a day, according to Reuters.
Another facility at Terminal 5 will be ready in a few weeks.
Passengers would have to pay £150 for the test, which advocates claim would be able to detect COVID-19 accurately before the symptoms show.