MIAMI – London Heathrow (LHR) plans to add a Coronavirus PCR test for arriving passengers. This might help prevent all passengers from having to go into 14-day quarantine.

Some federal regulations still need to be adjusted, as a negative PCR test is not enough to prevent quarantine.

British Airways BEA, BOAC, Negus, Chatam Dockyard and Landor liveried aircraft at Engineering, London Heathrow on 09 April 2019. Photo: ©Nick Morrish/British Airways.

Current Rules

Until July 10, all arrivals into the UK are required to undergo 14 days quarantine. The travel sector has viewed these rules as overbearing and damaging.

From July 10, travel corridors have been created between the UK and other countries, both within and outside the EU/EFTA. If the passengers have been in one of the listed countries for the last 14 days they do not need to self-isolate upon arrival to the UK.

This means that the PCR test will fill the gap for travelers arriving from countries not covered by the travel corridors.

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Similar Rules

There are several other countries who currently have regulations similar to these. At Frankfurt Airport (FRA), Lufthansa, Fraport and Centogene have joined together to offer tests at FRA. The cost of the test is the traveller’s responsibility.

The test result can also be supplied with an official certificate, which might be required for travel.

Iceland has also implemented PCR tests at the border for all arrivals from the EU/EFTA and the UK. Arrivals either must go into 14 day quarantine, or submit for a PCR test at the border.

A second PCR test within a week

Pre-registration is required, and the results are sent to the phone within 12-24 hours depending on the point of entry. An app is also available for travelers. Residents of Iceland have to undergo a second test 4-5 days after arrival to prevent false negatives.

Travelers into Iceland must also pay for the tests themselves. There is a monthly cost limit for frequent travelers.

IATA has stated in the past that they believe that passengers should not bear the costs of these tests.