At Last! Covid-19: First UK airport coronavirus testing begins

BBC News – Covid-19: First UK airport coronavirus testing begins

At last, the first steps are being taken to implement the most logical way to start the long process of restoring the travel sector – test before departure.

Since May of this year, TravelSafe Systems (TSS) has been campaigning for an international standard to be adopted for pre-flight testing, using fast, robust and reliable LAMP technology.  The most recent narrative from the UK Government has been about testing a few days after arrival to reduce the length of quarantine, with the private sector providing the testing and the traveller paying.  This makes no sense when compared to what many other countries are insisting upon, which is a negative test prior to flying.  If a source country is high risk, why is the UK not insisting upon the same and putting the screening and control on the border of other nations?

The issues with pre-flight testing in the UK are availability, costs and timeframes.  It is difficult to find a private test and it can cost £150 – £700 and take two to three days for a result.

This is where the TSS solution comes in, with its ICGENE Lamp test and personal digital output to a secure mobile application – the iWarrant.   The cost to businesses interested in buying the solution is viable, allowing a mark-up to cover logistics.  It is delivered in a 12-well and 48-well “lab in a box”, used on site and takes no more than 45 minutes for a result.  The test has a CV-IVD mark, ensuring high accuracy and specificity.

It has taken some time to raise the profile of LAMP testing but we are witnessing a sea change, with encouraging signs and demand.  Events and film production organisations have embraced the “accurate and fast test before you enter” concept, with multiple new and repeat orders taking place.  TSS will process over 30,000 tests this month in these sectors, ranging from award ceremonies, athletics events and film production in studios and on location.

International agreements for testing before departure can start safe air bridges and green zones in resorts and islands.  Testing on departure between two low-risk countries would provide the effective screening for which WHO has been calling.  Should the source market be deemed high risk, people should be tested on departure, isolate, and be tested 5 days after arrival.  This double test protocol within five days protects destinations, travellers and staff and will reduce and eventually eliminate the need for quarantine.  With such a sensible approach, TSS can help create a safe and sustainable UK travel sector which in turn can lead a global recovery.

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