Covid testing facility opens at Manchester Airport to help get people on the move

Manchester Airport launched a new COVID-19 testing facility this week, allowing passengers flying to and from the airport to be tested for the virus.

A negative test result is required to be allowed into some countries or may significantly lower the quarantine period upon arrival.

This comes as the UK Government is set to start the “Test to Release” scheme on December 15, which shortens the quarantine period to five days in the result of a negative test.

Karen Smart, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said: “This is the latest example of Manchester Airports Group leading the way as we look to work with Government and the rest of our industry to get Britain flying again.”

As the travel restrictions ease across the world, and the UK leaves national lockdown, more people are looking to fly abroad.

Some locations, such as the Canary Isles, require a negative test for passengers before they are allowed in.

The new service at Manchester is designed to provide a rapid-turnaround test for people who wish to start flying again.

Testing prices at the airport are £40 for Antibody tests, £50 for Antigen tests, £79 for RT-LAMP tests and £99 for RT-PCR tests.

The range of tests reflects the needs of various governments which travellers fly to, and travellers should check which option is best suited to their needs.

PCR testing is the most sensitive test, taking as little as five hours for a result, and can detect an infection before a person is infectious or symptomatic.

Antibody tests, on the other hand are not as sensitive: they look for antibodies produced when a person fights off a COVID infection.

However, antibody tests do not necessarily indicate that a person is COVID-free, as some people do not develop the antibodies.

It is hoped that the introduction of the scheme will boost travel industry by giving travellers flexibility and providing them with readily accessible testing.

Ms Smart said: “This new facility will make the process of showing you’re infection-free when planning and booking a holiday as easy and cost-effective as possible in the current circumstances.”

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