Emirates becomes the first airline to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers. Picture: Emirates.
Emirates becomes the first airline to conduct on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers. Picture: Emirates.

Quick Covid-19 tests may spell end of 14-day isolation for travellers

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Jun 1, 2020

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A two-week quarantine may be a thing of the past if a test in the UK is successful.  

According to the Sun Newspaper, UK ministers are considering a 20-minute test rather than asking travellers to self-isolate for 14 days when returning to the country.

The new test could reduce the time for travellers to know whether they are positive with the coronavirus. The publication reported that the test is being considered by a group of experts, which include aviation bosses, scientists and ministers. 

Iceland also plans to offer coronavirus tests to arriving travellers as a way to avoid the two weeks of mandatory quarantine. According to SchengenVisaInfo.com, the tests will be offered to travellers landing at the Keflavik airport, the country’s international airport. 

According to the government, travellers will be given a choice between a 14-days quarantine or being tested for the virus upon arrival, or otherwise proving that they are free of coronavirus infection.

Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Innovation said that when travellers return to Iceland, the country wants to have all mechanisms in place to safeguard them and the progress made in controlling the pandemic. 

"Iceland’s strategy of large-scale testing, tracing and isolating has proven effective so far. We want to build on that experience of creating a safe place for those who want a change of scenery after what has been a tough spring for all of us,” said Gylfadóttir. 

People who arrive at Iceland’s airport who provide a medical document to prove they are not infected with coronavirus will not need to take the tests. 

Emirates became the first airline to conduct on-site rapid Covid-19 tests for passengers. Emirates tested passengers on a flight to Tunisia before departing from Dubai last month. 

In a press statement, the airline revealed the quick blood test was conducted by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and results were available within 10 minutes. This test was conveniently done at the Group Check-in area of Dubai International Airport Terminal 3.

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