Airport to trial pre-departure rapid testing
Staff will trial the tests
Edinburgh Airport is hoping new pre-departure rapid testing that delivers results within 15 minutes will help speed up its recovery.
A week-long trial starts today and uses tests that only require a saliva sample, meaning no nasal swab and a more positive testing experience.
PocDoc and BioSure are running the trial, using PocDoc’s end-to-end testing solution and the new, groundbreaking BioSure saliva antigen test.
The trial will be open to staff and campus volunteers due to low passenger numbers and will demonstrate how testing can be scaled at airports, potentially adding to the testing capability already in place at Edinburgh Airport.
Earlier this month the airport recorded its lowest annual passenger numbers since 1995 costing the Scottish economy an estimated £1 billion.
The airport handled just under 3.5m passengers in 2020 – a 76% reduction on the previous year, resulting in 21,000 jobs being lost in the economy.
Gordon Dewar, the airport’s chief executive, said: “We know testing will be part of our travelling future, so it makes absolute sense that we look at how that is possible in an airport environment as we prepare for aviation’s recovery.
“Although there is a lack of detail on when that recovery might be able to take place, we are going to do all we can as an airport to make sure we put processes in place so we are in the strongest position possible when conditions allow.
“This trial with PocDoc and BioSure will provide some insight into rapid, efficient and affordable testing and we will study the findings before deciding our next steps.”
PocDoc CEO & founder, Steve Roest, says: “COVID-19 has seen the travel industry brought to its knees, but we believe 2021 will see a much happier year for the sector.
“Everyone is aware of the extent of the testing problem and we believe we have found a solution. The very quick, reliable, cost effective and safe service will help unlock travel and provide a massive boost to consumers and travel operators alike.”
Tests can be booked here:
New variant in UK
Health officials are trying to trace one of six UK patients infected with a contagious coronavirus variant first found in Brazil.
Three cases of the P1 variant were picked up in Scotland and three in England earlier this month.
But one case in England remains unidentified, prompting an appeal for anyone without a result from a test on 12 or 13 February to come forward.
Labour said there has been a lack of a “comprehensive” border system.
The P1 variant was first detected in travellers to Japan from Manaus in northern Brazil in January.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock will hold a meeting later to update MPs from all parties about the variant.