Like it or loathe it, covid-19 is big business and will be for some time. Particularly, when it comes to testing. Quite a few countries – and counting – now demand a negative covid-19 test before entry, and the test must be taken within 72 hours of arrival in most instances.
With very few reliable ways to get that done in any healthcare system, airports are looking to capitalize on a new opportunity, while also solving a great problem to help travel rebound.
When the Maldives opens for tourism on July 15th, sans testing requirements, many will be thrilled to find a beautiful destination without cumbersome entry requirements. Not all, of course. But even for returning residents some countries will require a negative result if they wish to get home, like St. Lucia.
Accordingly, the Maldives will offer visitors the chance to grab themselves a rapid covid-19 test result on the way out of town, and they’re hardly the only ones. Vienna, Dubai and now both Munich and Frankfurt airports are quickly investing in rapid testing facilities which can provide results in under 3 hours, and for an extra fee, they’ll even give you an internationally recognized medical certificate.
Around the world, plans are much the same.
Frankfurt is the latest airport to partner with a medical group to offer rapid testing. The “cheapest” result takes 6-8 hours, and is land side, meaning even visitors from the city can come and get a test sometime before departure to their next destination. Basically, it doesn’t mean waiting at the airport for 8 hours, if you don’t want it to.
For €59 you can get a test, for an extra €9 you can get a certificate, and if you want it faster, within three hours, you can pay €139, plus the additional €9 for the certificate. Better yet, you register online, pay online, and then will receive your results electronically, meaning you can leave the facility not long after taking the test.
For German travelers, this new partnership between Lufthansa, Fraport and CENTOGENE represents an amazing opportunity to reach countries that simply won’t be practical for visitors in cities without easily availed rapid testing. If you want to travel right now, it’ll come at a price, and this is one one many travelers are willing to pay, particularly to take advantage of typically rammed destinations which are currently anything but.
The race is now on for airports to create the right facilities, find the right prices and take advantage of the next boom in travel. For the interim, they may have more takers than the airlines themselves.