Tag: testing

New 7-Day ‘Test And Release’ Approach And Heathrow Rapid Covid-19 Testing

London’s Heathrow airport launched a new service Tuesday to rapidly test for Covid-19 before passengers depart on their flights. Simultaneously, the U.K. government has announced plans to slash quarantine on international arrivals from 14 days to one week.

It is hoped that both schemes will encourage passengers back in the air.

The UK’s first rapid pre-flight Covid-19 testing facility will cost £80 ($104) with results taking around an hour to complete–Oxford LAMP tests are being used. LAMP tests, unlike others, do not need to go to a laboratory to be processed.

Collinson and logistics firm Swissport described the pre-departure testing regime as the “crucial next step toward keeping the travel industry moving while limiting the spread of the virus”, as reported in The Telegraph.

The testing will be located at terminals 2 and 5 for passengers traveling to destinations that require pre-departure testing, notably Hong Kong and Italy, as reported by CNN. The trial will take place for 4 weeks, used by airlines British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific, and will record passenger and airline take up.

Skyscanner polled 3,525 U.K. travelers as to their thoughts on Heathrow’s new rapid testing facility and discovered that 69% of them would be prepared to pay for a test in order to be able to travel and avoid quarantine upon arrival.

An additional study by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) found that 86% of Britons say they are willing to be tested to facilitate travel, quoted in The Telegraph.

The U.K. transport secretary, speaking at an aviation conference Airlines 2050 on Monday 19 October, announced that a new testing system would be introduced by December 1 to allow quarantine to be slashed from 14 to 7 days for travelers arriving back in the country.

It was coined a “domestic ‘test and release’ approach” where travelers returning from overseas would quarantine for 7 days and then be allowed to take a Covid-19 test, available through the private sector. If the result was negative, international travelers would be allowed to end their period of self-isolation. 78% of U.K. travelers polled by Skyscanner said that this would make them more likely to travel abroad to certain countries.

Hugh Aitken, VP of Skyscanner stated that the “a combination of reduced quarantine length and more airport testing measures could mean we see more travellers feeling confident to travel to their favourite places again without being heavily impacted on their return.”

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United to JFK; Hawaii testing blossoms; another SFO lounge + more travel news

In this week’s TravelSkills on SFGATE newsletter…

In route news, it looks like SFO transcon flyers on United will get two NYC options next year; United customers to Hawaii get another testing location at SFO as the islands once again welcome tourists; Hawaii’s hotels and resorts are gradually reopening; American makes new concessions to AAdvantage elites; Southwest plans to start flying out of two big United hubs; UA will add more Mexico/Central American service this winter; Qantas will resume repatriation flights; JetBlue and Southwest will open up service to a popular Colorado ski resort; and American Express reopens its Centurion Lounge at SFO. Read: Routes: United at JFK, Hawaii updates, Alaska-American + AAdvantage, Southwest, AmEx at SFO, more

Two new lounges at SFO? Yep. The old USO Center near the Delta Air Lines gates at San Francisco International Airport shut down for good in March during the onset of COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders. But the USO Center, SFO’s most exclusive lounge, is now back in business in a brand new location. See photos in this post for a closer look!) Read: Take a look inside SFO’s big USO lounge upgrade for service members This is the second lounge at SFO to open this month — American also opened a shiny new Admirals Club in T1 — Read more about that here. 

California home buyers are flocking to Hawaii and snapping up homes, sometimes sight unseen. But from coqui frogs that chirp all night to an hour’s drive to the closest supermarket, the homes in rural Hawaii that some California buyers are purchasing after seeing them only online may come with unadvertised downsides. Read: ‘Not always going to be easy’: What Bay Area transplants to Hawaii need to know

Oakland Airport now has two COVID testing sites, and both are free. There’s one between terminals on airport grounds, and another on the north side of the airport, which you can access via car. This makes flying out of Oakland a much cheaper option for Hawaii-bound travelers hoping to avoid the $80-$250 fees at SFO.  Read: Oakland airport will offer free COVID-19 tests for Hawaii-bound travelers


When Singapore Airlines said seats on its superjumbo-turned-restaurant sold out in 30 minutes, one common question was: Who on Earth would want to do that? Plenty of people, it turns out. For every person who doesn’t relish flying, let alone schlepping to the airport and onto a parked plane for some reheated airline food, there’s another who can’t get enough of the aviation experience and is willing to shell out (big bucks) for it. Read: Why people pay hundreds of dollars to eat on grounded planes

Alaska Airlines and American have been moving closer together for months now, with increased code-sharing, plans by AA to shift some international flying on the West Coast from Los Angeles to Alaska’s Seattle hub and so on. They have also been promising that Alaska, which has never been part of a global alliance, will become a full member of American’s Oneworld 

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Review of blood testing in hotel quarantine launched after contamination risk identified

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Finger-prick tests routinely used by people living with diabetes, including pregnant women who develop gestational diabetes, were used in the hotel quarantine system. Safer Care Victoria said it did not believe needles were used multiple times, but that the cartridges were touched by more than one person.

“Blood glucose level testing devices intended for use by one person were used across multiple residents,” the agency said in a statement.

Safer Care Victoria, created as part of government reforms to improve quality and safety in the public health system, said there was a low clinical risk of cross-contamination and exposure to blood-borne viruses including hepatitis B and C, and HIV. There is also the risk of the spread of the coronavirus.

Safer Care Victoria is in the process of contacting 243 people who had a blood glucose level test between March 29 and August 20, based on information in their health records.

Acting chief executive Associate Professor Ann Maree Keenan said the clinical risk was low.

“The health of past quarantine residents is our immediate concern, so arranging screening for them is our absolute priority,” she said.

“The clinical risk is low. But if you are at all worried you had this test – and we have not contacted you yet – please call us.

“Right now, we won’t be able to answer the many questions people will have about how this happened. Be assured that Safer Care Victoria is conducting a full review into how and why this device came to be in use.

“I hope that we will be able to bring peace of mind through getting people in for testing, and through the findings of our review.”

Anyone who underwent blood glucose testing in hotel quarantine can call the dedicated
patient line on 1800 356 061 (8am to 8pm, seven days a week). Interpreters are available on request.

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Pre-travel testing program allows tourists to visit Hawaii free of quarantine

Angela Margos was among the first passengers in San Francisco to get on a plane headed for Hawaii, where travelers who test negative for the coronavirus will no longer be required to self-quarantine for two weeks.

“Vacation, peace of mind,” said Margos, a nurse from San Carlos, California, of why she’s flying to Hawaii. “I need time to relax, unwind.”

The pre-travel testing program began Thursday and allows visitors who test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their arrival in the islands to avoid quarantine — a measure that’s been in place for all arriving passengers for most of the year.

Officials had touted the mandatory quarantine rule as an integral part of Hawaii’s early success in keeping the coronavirus at bay. The new testing program is an effort to stem the devastating downturn the pandemic has had on Hawaii’s tourism-based economy.

Margos ran into hiccups with getting her test. She first did it at the hospital where she works, only to find out it wasn’t an approved site for United Airlines and the state of Hawaii. She then paid $105 for a drive-thru test, but was later informed there was an error with that test.

Margo ultimately paid $250 for a fast-result test Thursday at the airport in San Francisco, which came back negative.


Thousands of airline workers furloughed

04:51

Is Hawaii ready?

But gaps in the pre-travel testing program coupled with increasing cases of COVID-19 across the U.S. have raised questions about whether Hawaii is ready to safely welcome back vacationers.

And when local restrictions were eased before summertime holidays, community spread of the disease spiked to alarming levels, forcing a second round of stay-at-home orders for residents and closures for nonessential businesses.

Opponents of the testing program have said a single test 72 hours before arrival — especially when coupled with the option to fly without a test and still quarantine — is not enough to keep island residents safe.

Kathleen Miyashita and her husband were among those who came to Hawaii Thursday without getting tested. They said they plan to quarantine at their family’s farm on Oahu.

“We chose to do the 14 day quarantine,” Miyashita said. “We have no issues with having food being brought in. It’s like a quarantining haven in terms of having fresh fruits and vegetables at home.”

She said she and her husband were “not at all” concerned about being asymptomatic carriers of the disease.

“We’ve been traveling and we just take precautions,” she said, adding that they had already done one quarantine in Hawaii about two months ago.


How restaurants keep outdoor diners warm

03:55

Reliance on tourism

Hawaii’s economy is almost entirely built around tourism and local families who rely on the sector to survive need to return to work.

More than 100 of Hawaii’s approximately 4,000 restaurants, bakeries and caterers have closed permanently and more than 50% predict they will not survive the coming months, officials have said.

Monica Toguchi Ryan, whose family has owned and operated

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Thousands arrive in Hawaii on first day of pre-travel testing

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Tourists heading to Hawaii can now avoid the island’s 14-day quarantine if they take a state-approved COVID-19 test before arrival. The first passengers under the new rules left San Francisco International Airport on Thursday morning. (Oct. 15)

AP Domestic

About 8,000 people landed in Hawaii on the first day of a pre-travel testing program that allowed travelers to come to the islands without quarantining for two weeks if they could produce a negative coronavirus test.

Angela Margos was among the first passengers in San Francisco to get on a plane to Hawaii Thursday morning.

“Vacation, peace of mind,” said Margos, a nurse from San Carlos, California, of why she’s flying to Hawaii. “I need time to relax, unwind.”

The new testing program is an effort to stem the devastating downturn the pandemic has had on Hawaii’s tourism-based economy. Officials had touted the mandatory quarantine rule as an integral part of Hawaii’s early success in keeping the coronavirus at bay.

But gaps in the pre-travel testing program coupled with increasing cases of COVID-19 across the U.S. have raised questions about whether Hawaii is ready to safely welcome back vacationers.

And when local restrictions were eased before summertime holidays, community spread of the disease spiked to alarming levels, forcing a second round of stay-at-home orders for residents and closures for non-essential businesses.

Margos ran into hiccups with getting her test. She first did it at the hospital where she works, only to find out it wasn’t an approved site for United Airlines and the state of Hawaii. She then paid $105 for a drive-thru test, but she was later informed there was an error with that test.

State officials assist visitors at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in Honolulu. A new pre-travel testing program will allow visitors who test negative for COVID-19 to come to Hawaii and avoid two weeks of mandatory quarantine goes into effect Thursday. The pandemic has caused a devastating downturn on Hawaii’s tourism-based economy. Coronavirus weary residents and struggling business owners in Hawaii will be watching closely as tourists begin to return to the islands. (Photo: Marco Garcia, AP)

Margos ultimately paid $250 for a fast-result test Thursday at the airport in San Francisco, which came back negative.

Opponents of the testing program have said a single test 72 hours before arrival — especially when coupled with the option to fly without a test and still quarantine — is not enough to keep island residents safe.

Kathleen Miyashita and her husband were among those who came to Hawaii Thursday without getting tested. They said they plan to quarantine at their family’s farm on Oahu.

“We chose to do the 14-day quarantine,” Miyashita said. “We have no issues with having food being brought in. It’s like a quarantining haven in terms of having fresh fruits and vegetables at home.”

She said she and her husband were “not at all” concerned about being asymptomatic carriers of the disease.

“We’ve been traveling, and we just

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Thousands arrive in Hawaii on first day pre-travel testing

Honolulu (AP) — About 8,000 people landed in Hawaii on the first day of a pre-travel testing program that allowed travelers to come to the islands without quarantining for two weeks if they could produce a negative coronavirus test.

Angela Margos was among the first passengers in San Francisco to get on a plane to Hawaii Thursday morning.

“Vacation, peace of mind,” said Margos, a nurse from San Carlos, California, of why she’s flying to Hawaii. “I need time to relax, unwind.”

The new testing program is an effort to stem the devastating downturn the pandemic has had on Hawaii’s tourism-based economy. Officials had touted the mandatory quarantine rule as an integral part of Hawaii’s early success in keeping the coronavirus at bay.

But gaps in the pre-travel testing program coupled with increasing cases of COVID-19 across the U.S. have raised questions about whether Hawaii is ready to safely welcome back vacationers.


And when local restrictions were eased before summertime holidays, community spread of the disease spiked to alarming levels, forcing a second round of stay-at-home orders for residents and closures for non-essential businesses.

Margos ran into hiccups with getting her test. She first did it at the hospital where she works, only to find out it wasn’t an approved site for United Airlines and the state of Hawaii. She then paid $105 for a drive-thru test, but she was later informed there was an error with that test.

Margos ultimately paid $250 for a fast-result test Thursday at the airport in San Francisco, which came back negative.

Opponents of the testing program have said a single test 72 hours before arrival — especially when coupled with the option to fly without a test and still quarantine — is not enough to keep island residents safe.

Kathleen Miyashita and her husband were among those who came to Hawaii Thursday without getting tested. They said they plan to quarantine at their family’s farm on Oahu.

“We chose to do the 14-day quarantine,” Miyashita said. “We have no issues with having food being brought in. It’s like a quarantining haven in terms of having fresh fruits and vegetables at home.”

She said she and her husband were “not at all” concerned about being asymptomatic carriers of the disease.

“We’ve been traveling, and we just take precautions,” she said, adding that they had already done one quarantine in Hawaii about two months ago.

Hawaii’s economy is almost entirely built around tourism, and local families who rely on the sector to survive need to return to work.

More than 100 of Hawaii’s approximately 4,000 restaurants, bakeries and caterers have closed permanently and more than 50% predict they will not survive the coming months, officials have said.

Monica Toguchi Ryan, whose family has owned and operated The Highway Inn restaurant on Oahu for over 70 years, said the lack of tourism has been crippling.

“The restaurant and service industry has suffered so much during this pandemic,” Toguchi Ryan said. “Restaurants have not received any federal

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