From December 9, Virgin Atlantic is set to launch a pre-departure COVID-19 testing trial on its flights from London Heathrow to Barbados.
Customers on selected flights will be requested to take a free, rapid test before they fly. The test will be carried out at the Collinson and Swissport Terminal 2 pre-departure testing facility, up to one hour 45 minutes before departure, with results received within 30 minutes.
These free tests at departure provide peace of mind and a further layer of health and safety for customers, on top of the existing multi-faceted measures and the RT-PCR test entry requirements for Barbados, Antigua and Grenada.
Virgin Atlantic’s testing trial will contribute to the development of pre-departure testing at scale at Heathrow. The airline is calling for the introduction of a robust pre-departure regime to swiftly and safely replace the new UK ‘test and release’ scheme that is due to start on 15 December. This trial will provide real-world evidence on testing effectiveness to enable governments to make that change.
“The new UK test to release scheme is a vital first step in re-opening the skies, but we must now move rapidly towards a single test pre-departure regime in order to ensure the survival of UK aviation and protect 500,000 jobs reliant on the sector. Our Heathrow to Barbados testing trial, in close collaboration with partners including Collinson, London Heathrow and the Barbados Ministry of Tourism & International Transport, will gather vital data on the efficacy of a pre-departure testing regime to safely replace quarantine. We hope that testing will also lead the way for US borders to open to UK travellers.” Said Shai Weiss, CEO at Virgin Atlantic
Credit: Virgin Atlantic