Heathrow Airport trials 20-second Covid test to spare Brits having to quarantine

Heathrow Airport is trialling a Covid-19 test in the hopes that it will replace travellers having to isolate for 14 days when they arrive back into the UK.

One of the tests being trialled produces a result in just under 20 seconds making it super-speedy and efficient.

It plans to carry out the testing on the 78 million flyers that pass through every year, reports The Sun.

The plan is to screen people leaving or arriving in the UK to make it possible for people to come and go from countries that are on the Government's "red list" that currently require a 14-day quarantine upon return.

Oxford and Manchester universities are working with Heathrow on three separate tests.

The three tests include a throat swap which gives results in half an hour, the second a saliva-based test that brings results in 10 minutes and the other is a holographic microscope test pioneered for ebola – producing results in 20 seconds.

Currently, 250 airport staff have been trial tested, alongside this they are being PCR tested for accuracy.

Airport bosses will send the results to ~TGrant Shapps, the Transport Secretary and Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary in the hope that it will see the end of self-isolating for 14 days.

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Around 30 other countries are way ahead of the UK with similar testing for Covid-19, with some accusing the government of "dragging its feet".

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief executive, told the Telegraph: “"Testing is the lifeline that the UK’s aviation sector needs to get back on its feet.

"If we can find a test that is accurate, gets a result within a matter of minutes, is cost-effective and gets the Government green light, we could have the potential to introduce wide-scale testing at the airport.

"Every passenger travelling through Heathrow would have the confidence to know the airport is COVID-free, boosting demand and getting Global Britain back to safely trading and travelling with the world again.

"Without this, our first-class aviation sector risks becoming second class, giving Britain's competitive advantage to others."

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