By Tony Winterburn • 18 November 2020 • 6:48
British Airways to Test passengers for coronavirus 72 Hours Before Flying in Trial.
British Airways has announced it will test passengers for COVID-19 in a bid to prove the UK’s quarantine policy should be scrapped. At the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic, some international travellers arriving into the country must self-isolate for 14 days- although a shorter period is being discussed by the government. The airline says it hopes the data will demonstrate that a single test 72 hours before a flight is “robust” enough to mean they will not have to.
Chief executive Sean Doyle has said there have been “very minimal reports” of transmission on commercial flights and insists that air travel is “safe”. He also claims the UK is being “left behind” as countries such as Germany adopt testing to replace quarantine measures. Mr Doyle says BA will trial a voluntary testing regime in partnership with American Airlines, involving hundreds of people on selected routes from the US to Heathrow.
During the trial, passengers will be tested three days before departure as well as on arrival at the west London airport, and three days later.
The government is also looking at how testing can reduce the time travellers to the UK need to self-isolate. British Airways owner IAG has long criticised the 14-day quarantine imposed on arrivals, saying it deters people from flying and damages airlines. It is also trying to convince the US government to open its borders to UK nationals, who have been barred since March.
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