Heathrow has signed a deal with Cignpost ExpressTest to become the main testing provider at the airport.
Under the deal, ‘gold standard’ PCR tests will be available from £59 and 800 new jobs are expected to be created to cope with increases in passenger numbers.
Passengers arriving at Heathrow from green list countries will have the option to take their tests on arrival, which Cignpost says will comply with the government’s ‘day two or earlier’ requirement.
The airport’s passengers can also make use of the company’s regional sites for both pre-departure and arrival testing at the same reduced rate.
Cignpost has committed to providing all results by 10pm on the day following the test.
An extension of the airport’s existing test facilities to cover all terminals and a number of car parks is due to be completed by August.
Cignpost ExpressTest has operated at Heathrow since December 2020. Following an expansion of its regional testing facilities in England, Scotland and Wales, it claims that 80% of the UK population lives within a one-hour drive of one of its sites.
Nick Markham, co-founder of Cignpost Diagnostics, said: “We are incredibly proud to have been selected as the main testing provider to one of the world’s busiest airports.
“As lockdown restrictions ease to allow international travel to resume, everyone travelling abroad will want to know they can get an affordable test with the results delivered back to them within 24 hours. That is exactly what ExpressTest’s Covid-19 testing package with Heathrow Airport delivers.”
Professor Denis Kinane, fellow co-founder, added: “The return of international travel is crucial not just for the economic wellbeing of the industry, but the wider economy. Cignpost Diagnostics’ partnership with Heathrow Airport will allow travellers to be 100% confident in the accuracy of our gold-standard Covid-19 tests and ensure that the return of travel is both safe and accessible to all.”
Heathrow chief operating officer Emma Gilthorpe said: “We’re looking forward to working closely with Cignpost ExpressTest. This new agreement will help to keep testing costs competitive for our passengers, which is vital for a safe and meaningful restart.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen tremendous progress made on testing and we will be working with Cignpost ExpressTest to build on this, by putting in place integrated and innovative solutions that keep our passengers and colleagues safe, in preparation for more countries being added to the green list.”