COMPREHENSIVE TESTING SYSTEM KEY TO RESUMING INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL – TRIAL
A comprehensive testing system is key to resuming international travel, according to the results of a University of Oxford trial.
The experiment, which involved data from almost 600 travellers on flights from the US to Heathrow, also showed passengers would be happy to pay for their own tests.
Researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) used flights operated by British Airways and American Airlines for the trial, which took place between November 2020 and March 2021.
Travellers took a PCR test 72 hours before departure, a LAMP test upon arrival at Heathrow – a type which returns results more quickly than the PCR – and a third PCR taken three to five days after returning.
According to the researchers, just one per cent of travellers who took the first PCR tested positive and so did not travel, and none of those who touched down in the US tested positive, suggesting the first test was effective.
Of the travellers who took the third test after arriving in the UK, 0.4% of travellers tested positive.