A Covid testing lab in Newcastle is gearing up to process thousands of swabs due to be taken from passengers at the city's airport in the coming weeks.
It comes as holidaymakers will finally discover which destinations they can visit this summer without quarantining, with Portugal, Iceland and Malta among those expected to be on the travel green list.
Gibraltar and Israel could also make the cut when the list is published today (7 May) following weeks of speculation.
Dr Andrew Harbottle from MDNA Life Sciences says the team processing tests at Newcastle Airport is prepared for the upcoming increase in demand.
Quarantine and coronavirus testing requirements for people arriving in England once foreign holidays are permitted from May 17 will be based on a new traffic light system, with destinations placed on green, amber and red lists.
How does the traffic light system work?
People arriving from a green location will not need to quarantine on their return and will have to take one post-arrival test.
Those returning from an amber list country must self-isolate for at least five days and take two tests.
The red list requires an 11-night stay in a quarantine hotel at a cost of £1,750 for solo travellers.
Assessments will be based on a range of factors, including the proportion of a country's population that has been vaccinated, rates of infection, emerging new variants, and the country's access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.
Air fares to Portugal have already started to soar, with Ryanair charging £152 for a flight from Stansted to Lisbon on 17 May, compared with £15 on 16 May.
EasyJet is also charging £234 for a flight from Luton to the Algarve on 17 May, but just £73 the following day.
Meanwhile, Tui, the UK's largest holiday company, announced it will offer customers coronavirus tests for a fraction of standard prices.
PCR tests alone typically cost £20 each although several travel companies offer them for £60.
The latest weekly rate of new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people is 21.2 in the UK, 26.5 in Portugal and 28.6 in Malta.
The most popular European destinations, such as Spain, Italy, France and Greece, are initially expected to be on the amber list, but could switch to green ahead of the peak summer holiday months.
Spain has a seven-day rate of 98.2 cases, while Greece is on 113.9.
No plans for the resumption of foreign holidays have been announced by the UK's devolved administrations.