UK airport could be the first to test all arrivals - potential to reduce ...

A UK airport could become the first to test all arrivals after a number of coronavirus cases were detected in arrivals. Some experts have suggested that if airport testing is given the green-light, it could reduce the length of quarantine for passengers.

PUBLISHED: 18:09, Fri, Sep 4, 2020 | UPDATED: 18:09, Fri, Sep 4, 2020

Following a number of cases of COVID-19 being detected at Cardiff airport, Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething said mass testing at flight hubs was something he was considering. The statement comes after an outbreak of the virus was detected amongst holidaymakers returning from the Greek island of Zante into the airport.

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Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, Mr Gething said: “Testing at an airport is not something I have ruled out.

“I want to have another look at whether that would be possible with more time to plan for that.

“It would add to the time it takes people to get through the airport but it could protect passengers, their families and communities in the best way.”

It is a concept that is being called for by a number of industry bodies, with some suggesting it could eliminate the need for the current 14-day quarantine period altogether.

Jason Holt, chief executive officer for Swissport previously spoke out about a push towards airport testing on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

He unveiled suggestions for a trial which would see passengers voluntarily take a coronavirus test, and if the results came back as negative, they would be free to avoid the self-isolation period.

READ MORE: Complete guide to travel rules for Greece, , Spain, France & more

cardiff airport testingMr Gething said: “Testing at an airport is not something I have ruled out." (Image: Getty Images )

Airport testingTravel: Many industry experts are calling for airport testing (Image: Getty Images)

If a passenger tested positive for the virus, they would then need to quarantine and their results would be shared with the NHS test and trace scheme.

Speaking on the radio programme, Mr Holt explained: “What we have is a compliment to the quarantine regulations, so we have a system where passengers who arrive into the United Kingdom currently under the situation voluntarily take a test, it is called a PCR test, to see if they have got any genetic items of the COVID virus.

“They would then leave and adopt the quarantine regulations to travel home or travel to the hotel or wherever their destination is, and would then lock themselves down.

“In this case, you would be able to get the result within 24 hours, often no later than 10, and once they had that result, if they were COVID negative then we would ask the government to consider them to be free from the quarantine and they would have 13 days plus avoiding the quarantine.

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