Airlines argue that pre-departure virus tests are necessary to get people to travel safely again.

The British newspaper The Times reported, Tuesday, that passengers traveling to Hong Kong and Italy from Britain’s Heathrow airport will undergo an hour-long coronavirus test before traveling from the United Kingdom as part of plans to open international travel.

Rapid tests will be held from Tuesday at London’s Heathrow Airport to allow travelers to enter countries that require a negative COVID-19 test result to avoid a prolonged quarantine, the newspaper said.

The report added that passengers were required to book a test in advance, at a cost of 80 pounds ($ 103).

The newspaper said that aviation services companies Collinson and Swissport have set up rapid-test facilities for outbound travelers at Heathrow Airport.

The report added that testing facilities would initially open for a period of four weeks and could be extended if there was sufficient demand from passengers.

Heathrow, Collinson and Swissport did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment early on Tuesday.

Airlines including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific are among the first to provide service to passengers using Heathrow Terminals 2 and 5.

More than 40 million people around the world have so far been diagnosed with the Coronavirus and there has been a wave of new cases in Europe. Countries like Hong Kong have kept the virus under strict border control and quarantine.

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