Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has begun to roll out Covid-19 testing facilities at its three airports, following the government’s lifting of the international travel ban this week.

The group has partnered with provider Collinson to offer four kinds of tests to outbound and inbound passengers at Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports.

Passengers will be able to use the facilities for pre-departure tests in order to shorten or alleviate quarantine requirements in the destination country, or shorten their self-isolation period upon return to the UK, as per the government’s ‘Test to Release’ scheme (which launches on December 15).

The facilities are private, and therefore customers will have to pay the following for the tests on offer:

  • Antibody test £40
  • Antigen test £50
  • RT-Lamp test £79
  • RT-PCR test £99

The group anticipates that the costs will come down over time as technology improves.

With four types of tests on offer, travellers will be better able to meet the different testing requirements at destinations around the world. For more information on this, see our feature ‘Which Covid-19 tests allow you to travel?’.

MAG is the first airport group to offer testing facilities at multiple locations across the country, stating that it aims to “make testing available to as many passengers as possible, helping to get the country flying again as England comes out of its second lockdown.”

The group also states that the service will “adapt as Government travel requirements change”, and that it will “change to match” the evolution of testing protocols – this might be through offering new kinds of tests or adding more capacity in terminals or partner locations.

The UK’s largest airport group also offers passengers five per cent off pre-departure RT-PCR tests at selected Boots stores, which customers can access through the airport’s website.

The airport’s online booking portal allows passengers to choose the correct test for their specific requirements, stating that this might be at the airport or at one of the Boots stores across the UK.

Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive of MAG, commented on the news:

“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. That is why we have created a booking option on our website, which enables you to select the right test for the right destination, and at the location that is most convenient for you – either at one of our airports or on the high street.

“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. Subject to the relevant tests securing government approval, this could free people from quarantine after just five days. This is the latest example of MAG leading the way as we work with Government and the rest of our industry to get Britain flying again.”

This follows the recent opening of Gatwick’s dedicated Covid-19 facility, while Dublin, EdinburghHeathrow and Newcastle airports also offer on-site testing facilities.

For a full round-up of the airports around the world that are offering Covid-19 tests, see our feature:

Which airports are offering Covid-19 tests?