Now at the boarding gate: coronavirus test


American Airlines said on Tuesday it would offer coronovirus testing to passengers, including United Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and JetBlue Airways. Tampa International Airport also said it would offer testing. The test, which results in minutes from rapid tests at the airport to tests lasting a few days, allows passengers whose results are negative to drop or reduce quarantine restrictions in various destinations.

The new tests come as the number of people flying domestically and internationally is at record levels (the Transportation Security Administration screened 568,688 people on Tuesday, up from 1,998,980 on the same date a year earlier). Testing at airports, it is hoped, will assimilate those who are concerned about flight safety amid the ongoing epidemic.

“Our plans for this initial phase of testing reflect ingenuity and care that our team is confident in rebuilding air travel and we see this as an important step in our work in the final recovery of demand Speeds up, ”Robert Isom, US President, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The US will initially test people traveling to international destinations, starting with those going to Miami International Airport to Jamaica. The test for the trip to Jamaica will be for residents flying to their country; If a passenger tests negative for the virus, 14-day quarantines will be waived for residents currently returning. The airline is also working to initiate trials for visitors and residents arriving in the Caribbean from Bahrain and other countries. Starting in mid-October, the airline will offer home-testing that can be done via video call with a medical professional; Person testing at a careless urgent care location; Administered by CareNow at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport for flights to Hawaii and rapid on-site testing.

Tampa International Airport is the first airport in the United States to offer tests and they will be available to passengers flying on any airline. The test will be administered by BayCare nurses and medical professionals, and passengers have the option of taking a PCR test that results in 48 hours or a rapid antigen test that results in 15 minutes. Prior to the epidemic, Tampa’s airport was one of the busiest in the country with more than 22 million passengers in 2019. Ticketed passengers who are flying or have flown within three days and can show proof of travel can conduct a racial swab test for $ 125 or so. An antigen test for $ 57.

The tests are not mandatory, and prices range from about $ 50 to $ 250.

Airlines and airports are desperate for passengers to fly again. The aviation sector faces a loss of about 40,000 jobs this week, when financial relief, part of the CARES incentive package, ended on 1 October.

Tory Emerson Byrnes, executive vice president of the American Travel Association’s public vice president of public affairs and policy, said, “More rapid, efficient testing allows travel to reopen the economy, and organizations lose lost jobs and re-workers Enables to be restored quickly “. this month. “Crucially, a strong testing program will allow the US to welcome international visitors, an area of ​​travel that has effectively disappeared since the onset of the epidemic.”

Announced last week, United’s pilot program for testing passengers and people traveling to and from San Francisco International Airport will begin in mid-October, when outsiders leave quarantine if there are negative test results within the state of Hawaii 72 Allows Hours of travel.

United Airlines Chief Customer Officer Toby Enkvist said in a statement that our new Kovid test program is another way we are helping customers safely and conveniently meet their destination entry requirements. Other destinations and airports in the United States.

JetBlue is offering an at-home saliva test done through an online video chat with a vault health testing supervisor who is providing their samples correctly to customers. The airline’s test is for people traveling to countries that allow people to enter if there are negative test results. Passengers receive results within 72 hours.

Airports and airlines have exploited the increasing cleaning procedures and many have mandated social disturbances and mask-wearing regulations in an effort to keep passengers safe and reassure them about flying.

Stephen Beck, the founder and managing partner of management consultancy cg42, has advised aerospace companies that the test offering is consistent with, among other things, the major airlines offering people to feel more comfortable about travel experiences.

Airlines and travel trade groups asked the government for federal testing programs and guidance that people wear masks, but this has not happened and airlines have created their own policies and systems. Airlines also asked the European Union and US authorities to create a test program to encourage travel.

Carlos Ojores, aviation and US consulting leader at the ICF, the airline and aviation consultant, said the move to offer the test would not completely improve air travel, but would benefit in the coming months, especially internationally. journey.

“This is really for international markets where you have country restrictions requiring quarantine or negative test results,” Mr. Ojores said. “I think it would have rolled out more widely than catering for international travel.”

Mr. Ojores said that for testing to work by airlines and airports, governments would have to agree to accept the validity of each other’s tests, and apply consistent standards, regardless of where the tests were being conducted. Are

Among other developments in airline virus testing, Hawaii Airlines, in partnership with Works Labs, will have built drive-through test sites for its passengers in San Francisco and Los Angeles; The tests will cost $ 90 for results within 36 hours, or $ 150 for a travel express service starting in mid-October.

In Europe, the Italian airline Atlatalia is offering tests on flights between Rome and Milan through October. The airline is also hoping to test flights and at airports for passengers traveling between New York and Italy.


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