"Fast and accurate" Covid-19 testing facility opens at Gatwick Airport

Credit: ExpressTest UK

The first appointments for passengers who have booked express coronavirus screening at Gatwick Airport took place yesterday (Monday 30 November). 

The site, located within the airport's Long Stay Car Park at the South Terminal, offers a lab-analysed PCR swab test.

The results for pre-departure and post-arrival tests are then available the next day.

The screening facility hopes to satisfy post arrival requirements for the Government's expected "test and release" scheme to ease travel restrictions and quarantine.

Gatwick's air passengers and on-airport staff will pay £60 for a test, while the general public pays £99.

Gatwick Airport Credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire/PA Images

ExpressTest UK issued an apology over the weekend after those booking a test experienced delays caused by a high volume of traffic to the website.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport, says: "Reducing the spread of COVID-19 is a priority for us alongside giving confidence to so many people who have missed travelling during this difficult year. Our new screening facility is also a convenient service to offer people in the region looking for extra reassurance.  

"Our industry has been decimated by the pandemic and, while we welcome the anticipated  "test and release" scheme from the Government, we want to see an internationally agreed pre-departure testing regime, based on existing risk criteria, to replace the current uncertainty of quarantine and patchwork of testing approaches which currently exists across Europe.  A truly international approach would safely open up most of the UK's travel routes abroad, while also helping to reduce transmission of the virus."

ExpressTest Founder Nick Markham says: "We are delighted to be Gatwick airport's official screening partner.  We launched ExpressTest to give people peace of mind, whether that's enabling travel through our Fit to Fly certificates, or providing the reassurance needed to safely visit friends and family abroad or within the UK."

Jonathan Pollard, Chief Commercial Officer of Gatwick Airport, says he believes testing is the best way to get people travelling again.