A few days ago, the United Kingdom had started permitting entry of travellers from 60 nations having low-risk of COVID-19 without the mandatory 14-day quarantine. However, the list of nations did not include India and the United States. Now, London’s Heathrow Airport is planning to offer Test-on-Arrival to the passengers from the countries not included in the list. Under this new scheme, incoming passengers will be able to take polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on reaching the airport. This testing procedure developed by Collinson and Swissport will begin after receiving the government’s approval. Flights to Dubai have also started free COVID-19 tests for passengers.
London Heathrow Airport To Offer COVID-19 Tests To Incoming Passengers
The countries from which Britain has permitted quarantine-free entry include low-risk nations like Australia, Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Mauritius, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Taiwan and Seychelles. The authorities have also informed that if there is a spike in the coronavirus cases in one or more of these nations, they might change the quarantine policies. As per reports, referring to the COVID-19 RT-PCR tests, Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye said, “The Government made a significant step forward last week by removing quarantine for visitors from many countries, but we still need a solution that safely allows passengers to travel to and from higher risk countries. This trial with Swissport and Collinson will provide a much-needed alternative to quarantine for those arriving passengers and should add further momentum to the Government’s push for Common International Standards which are needed for the resumption of global travel.”
Passengers Need To Pre-Book The Tests Online
People travelling to London Airport, who want to avoid the 14-day quarantine, will have to create an online account and book the test, prior to their journey. The Collinson nurses will carry out the tests in a Swissport facility at the airport. They will collect the passenger’s swab which will be sent to a Collinson biotech lab. The results will come within a few hours. If tested positive, the person needs to undergo a 14-day quarantine. People testing negative for the virus can skip the quarantine period.
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India Not On The List Of UK’s Low-Risk Nations
With more than 9 lakh cases, India is now among those countries worst-hit by the coronavirus. At present, India has about 936000 confirmed cases with nearly 24309 deaths. On the brighter side, the recovery rate in the country is also on the surge. The total number of recovered coronavirus patients in India is about 592000. However, the figures clearly suggest that India cannot be categorized among the low-risk nations now. A few days before, Europe had also opened up to tourists from 14 countries. India was not included on the updated list.
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Quarantine Mandatory For Visitors Having Stopovers In The Excluded Nations
The UK is permitting entry of visitors from 60 ‘green destinations’. However, if they have a stopover in a country not included in the list, they will need to undergo quarantine, unless they test negative for COVID-19. As per reports, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the reopening of the nation would be ‘good news for British people and great news for businesses eager to open doors again’.
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International travel is gradually resuming, however, while lifting the restrictions, the nations across the world are taking every possible step to combat the spread of coronavirus. Renowned airlines are coming up with new protocols to ensure the safety of travellers with the pandemic in place. It’s best to stay at home now unless it’s absolutely necessary to travel. Meanwhile, here’s a first-hand flight experience from USA to London during COVID-19 outbreak: