As an increasing number of countries demand pre-flight Covid tests from travellers, the UK’s leading holiday airport has dramatically cut the cost of a PCR test.
From 30 November, passengers booked to fly from Gatwick airport can obtain a test for just £60 – less than half the prevailing rate. NHS tests cannot be used for trips abroad.
The Sussex airport is subsiding the cost for travellers with bookings as well as on-airport staff. The general public is also able to avail of the facility, but must pay £99.
The screening, in conjunction with ExpressTest, will take place within the airport’s Long Stay Car Park at the South Terminal.
But crucially, holidaymakers will not be able to test shortly before departure because the tests take at least 24 hours to analyse. In addition, the firm is making no guarantees.
For the Canary Islands, which will become the main destination from Gatwick once England’s lockdown is lifted on 3 December, tests must be taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. For a noon arrival on that date, the test must have been taken no earlier than noon on 30 November.
Stewart Wingate, chief executive at Gatwick, said: “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. We are pleased to be subsidising the price for our passengers and any staff based at Gatwick so they are compliant with current destination requirements that many of airlines including easyJet, British Airways and TUI fly to.