A number of airports in Europe are working to bring 30-minute COVID-19 tests to airports. The aviation industry hopes that this could persuade more passengers to resume air travel.
For example, Rome International Airport was the first to introduce rapid pre-flight screening earlier this month. Heathrow, the busiest airport in Europe, is also testing similar solutions.
“We need the system to work quickly. Otherwise, this industry will not survive, “said Alexandre de Juniac, director general of the International Air Transport Association, during an event, as quoted by Bloomberg.
International travel has dropped dramatically during the pandemic, with governments around the world imposing severe restrictions on human movement to reduce infection rates. But this solution has brought airlines close to bankruptcy.
Some airlines hope that the pre-flight examination could allow passengers to give up self-quarantine after the trip. For example, United Airlines believes passengers could skip the 14-day quarantine requirements for certain flights to and from Hawaii. Even in Romania, this approach has been circulating in recent days.
“Rapid Sars-CoV-2 antigen tests” can detect a specific protein on the surface of the virus, a deviation from the usual polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which generally take much longer. The test involves a simple swab and can be completed in just 30 minutes. It is also much cheaper.
Passengers will be tested up to 72 hours before boarding a plane. Anyone who comes out with a positive result will be sent back home and advised to isolate themselves.
New rules at Otopeni Airport: what you need to know if you want to fly
Recently, new rules were announced at Otopeni Airport, which came into force on September 9. According to CNAB, the new changes must be complied with by all passengers passing through the airport.
Thus, at Henri Coandă Airport, passengers are allowed direct access to the Departures airport, eliminating the obligation to pass through the tents in front of the terminal.
However, all other requirements remain valid, namely measuring the temperature at the entrance to the terminal, disinfecting hands, keeping a distance of 1.5 meters from other people and wearing a mask to cover the mouth and nose, measures imposed by the health crisis.