Swissport has announced it will open a five-hour turnaround COVID testing facility at Zurich Airport on Thursday.
The news comes as Canada today adds itself to the growing list of countries requiring a negative coronavirus result before being allowed to board the aircraft.
Unlike most PCR tests, Swissport’s innovation uses a saliva sample and not a nasal swab, therefore it can be self-administered.
“The tests are sold as self-test kits on site and can be performed in test boxes independently, with no assistance required by medical personnel,” said Swissport subsidiary Checkport Schweiz AG in a statement.
The test boxes are cleaned after each traveller, before the samples are sent to a lab four times a day by courier. Each test costs €180 and the centre is open every day between 6am and 8pm, with no appointment necessary.
“The tests are intended for people who do not show COVID-19 symptoms but need a test for travel or in order to participate at specific events. Especially airline passengers benefit from this quick PCR testing option, as only PCR tests are currently accepted by authorities for entry into countries requiring a COVID-19 test certificate.”
Dubai was one of the first countries to ask travellers to submit for testing, but it will be joined by Canada on Thursday.
“Documentation of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada,” said the country’s transport department in a statement. “The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test and must be taken within 72 hours prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada.
“Anyone who receives a negative test result and is authorised to enter Canada must still complete the full, mandatory 14-day quarantine.
“The government of Canada will be further increasing surveillance efforts to ensure travellers entering Canada complete the applicable mandatory 14-day quarantine period under the Quarantine Act.”
World of Aviation has reported frequently on airports installing testing centres. In July, for instance, stations were set up in both Frankfurt and Munich, in partnership with Germany’s largest airline Lufthansa.