Airports push for 30-minute Covid spit tests in bid to open up American travel routes

UK airports are ready to use 30-minute Covid-19 spit tests in departure lounges and want to trial them as soon as possible on New York routes.

They want passengers tested at check-in using the technique — which is also being trialled by the NHS.

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Bosses are hopeful they will help persuade the US State Department to relax the American travel ban.

But chief medical officer Chris Whitty has opposed full-scale airport testing this week, backing a small trial.

It will be among a series of smaller experimental schemes to get the go-ahead.

The Department for Transport had hoped to introduce testing measures to cut quarantine to a matter of days by the end of the month, but now sources say the “solution will not happen overnight”.

They had been in favour of the ‘German model’ and making travellers arriving in the UK have a negative Covid certificate taken from a test 72 hours before they travel.

Passengers would take a second test on the fifth day after arrival, which if also negative, will mean the end of quarantine.

SAGE has already conducted task forces on airport testing back in June but have not yet tested passengers.

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