MAG launches UK’s largest testing scheme

Testing facilities have been unveiled at Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands Airports

Manchester Airport Group (MAG) has inaugurated Covid-19 testing facilities at all three of its airports from December 3.

Passengers travelling from Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands Airports will all have the opportunity to use the new facilities.

The full range of tests will be available from one location and will include RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, Rapid Antigen and Antibody testing. By providing different variations of tests, customers are able to identify which one meets the travel requirements to enter the desired destination.

Tests will be delivered by Collinson, the travel medical provider. “In order to restore confidence in travel, it is critical that travellers can navigate the many different testing regimes now required by different governments around the world,” said David Jones, joint CEO of Collinson. “This is a major step forward in opening up the UK to safe travel.”

MAG will give passengers the option to book discounted pre-flight tests at selected Boots UK stores

MAG is also the first to give passengers the option to book discounted pre-flight tests at selected Boots UK stores. The health and beauty retailer offers an RT-PCR test, which provides customers with their results within 48 hours. This has been implemented in over 50 stores across the UK and MAG passengers are able to get a 5% discount.

Using the government’s new ‘test and release’ scheme, which is set to launch on December 15, passengers will be able to book tests to shorten their self-isolation period upon arrival. The new scheme comes after many other countries have introduced quarantine-free inbound travel to those displaying a negative test.

“With many countries now welcoming visitors who can show they are infection-free, we wanted to make the process of planning a holiday or business trip as easy and cost-effective as possible in the current circumstances,” said Charlie Cornish, CEO of MAG. “With the right facilities and booking system in place, we are also perfectly placed to support the introduction of a UK arrivals testing regime, which will enable travellers to reduce the length of time they need to self-isolate.”

Collinson’s testing prices begin at £40 for an anti-body test, £50 for an antigen test, £79 for an RT-LAMP test and £99 for a RT-PCR test. All of MAG’s facilities are private, therefore not drawing on NHS capacity. Although customers have to pay for testing, the group has said that they expect prices to be reduced as technology improves.