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Could COVID-19 Testing Become Like Airport Security?

Rapid COVID testing is fast becoming the front runner for the key to unlocking international travel. In time,…

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Rapid COVID testing is fast becoming the front runner for the key to unlocking international travel. In time, COVID testing at the airport could become as common as airport security. However, to achieve that, more international cooperation is needed. Here’s what the industry has to say on the subject.

Testing passengers before the flight is seen as the best way forward

Governments around the world are taking various stances with regard to COVID testing. Some want passengers to have a test days before flying; others want to test them on arrival. Many simply don’t have the capacity or the willingness to test at all. However, within the industry, the ideal solution is clear.

Gloria Guevara Manzo is President and CEO at World Travel and Tourism Council. Speaking at today’s World Aviation Festival, she noted that pre-flight testing was viewed as being the ultimate solution. She said,

“We believe that testing should be done before departure. But it needs to be a quick test, a reliable test, and one with high sensitivity. This will help us to increase the possibility of isolating the infected people.”

Paul Griffiths, CEO at Dubai Airports, agreed, saying that a solid pre-flight testing protocol could serve to enhance passenger confidence. He said,

“We need to have a pre-travel testing protocol, where a traveler is tested before the journey starts. I think we’re only going to get traveler confidence back into the business if people know that every single person that they’re going through the travel experience and sitting with on the aircraft have also been tested at least once. “I think if we were to develop a medium of ensuring that those pre-travel tests are conducted in a proper and consistent way, then the need for testing on arrival is eased, and the need for an extended period of quarantine on arrival is also removed.”

With the right protocols in place, testing passengers for coronavirus could become just another part of the regular travel experience. Just as we came to accept scrutiny and limitations on bringing liquids onboard after 9/11, perhaps we’ll also become accustomed to taking a rapid COVID test before we are allowed to board the plane.

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