Newcastle is the latest UK airport after Gatwick and Edinburgh to announce Covid-19 testing for passengers.

The facility is to open on December 1 with PCR tests costing £99. This compares with £80 at Edinburgh and £60 at Gatwick from November 30.

Newcastle airport, which serves a region to be placed into high level Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions from the following day after lockdown, is working with two local Covid-19 testing companies to provide the service for departing travellers.

The north-east’s largest airport is collaborating with Newcastle-based companies NPH Group and MDNA Life Sciences to provide PCR tests and rapid antigen and antibody tests when possible.

The testing site will be based in the ‘Premium Meet and Greet’ car park building.

The service will be supported by testing laboratory within easy reach of the airport, ensuring the price is kept to a minimum and the results can be turned around quickly.

Airport chief operating officer Richard Knight said: “Spain, the Canary Islands and several other destinations require passengers to have a negative PCR Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours before arrival.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for our passengers to travel to their destination. As such, we have worked hard to develop a relationship with two highly experienced and well-regarded local companies with COVID-19 testing facilities.

“Unlike postal tests, the tests provided by NPH Group and MDNA Life Sciences are administered by trained clinicians which decreases the likelihood of an inconclusive result.

“Passengers can receive their certified result within 36-48 hours which, if negative, allows them to travel to their chosen destination.”

NPH Group chief executive Mark Philpott described the testing as “accessible, affordable and reliable” for all travellers.

“We have worked hard to ensure the PCR test is as easy as possible for passengers. People can simply visit our website to book a test at a date and time to suit. They can then arrive for their test and receive their results within 36-48 hours via email,” he added.

“MDNA has a state-of-the-art laboratory in Newcastle city centre equipped to Category 2 Biological Safety standard. They hold a license from the UK Human Tissue Authority and testing procedures which are compliant with the ISO 15189:2012 standard required for quality and competence in medical laboratories.

“It’s great to be able to provide this service to the airport and help support them in getting people back in the air again.”