The first public Covid screening centre at in airport in Scotland has opened at Edinburgh Airport - with Scots set to receive fast and accurate PCR swab tests.

After opening today, PCR swab tests can now be carried out at the ExpressTest site at the airport, in front of the terminal in the FastPark car park area.

Passengers and staff at the airport will be charged a subsidised rate of £80 and £60 to use the service, which will also be available to the general public for £99 - in a bid to provide reassurances to people that are keen to travel.

The service began operating on Wednesday, but airport management have urged people to continue following their local coronavirus restrictions.

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Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar said: “Protecting and mitigating risk to public health and providing reassurance and confidence to people who need and want to travel is incredibly important if aviation and all of the industries that rely on it are to recover.

“We have acted with ExpressTest to ensure we are in as strong a position as possible to allow aviation as a facilitator industry to drive Scotland’s recovery.

“Until then, people must continue to adhere to local regulations and ensure they understand and follow Government guidance to protect themselves and others.”

Test results will typically be emailed or texted the next day, with airline passengers advised to schedule a test between two and five days before their departure as a precaution.

Anyone receiving a negative result will be emailed a Fit to Fly certificate authorised by a doctor.

However passengers are advised before booking a test at the airport to check if their travel provider will accept the document.

ExpressTest founder Nick Markham said: “It’s hugely exciting to have teamed up with Edinburgh Airport to deliver the first public airport screening service in Scotland.

“Our mission at ExpressTest is to provide reassurance to people that they are Covid-free, whether that’s when they are travelling or visiting friends and family.

“The ambition is for us to have 30 locations up and running across the UK in the next few months, and this landmark facility in Edinburgh is just the start.”

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When asked about airport testing at the daily coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “We are continuing to consider and work with the airports to try to get to a position where we use testing, if not as a complete alternative to quarantine then a partial alternative.

“We’ve been working within our working group with the UK Government, they’ve already announced some intentions to introduce a different system from December 15.

“The Scottish Government continues to think through whether just before Christmas would be the right time to change substantially a position there or whether it might make more sense to wait until after Christmas.

“But also there are some concerns the arrangement that the UK Government have outlined is dependent on people paying for private Covid tests.

“We have some concerns about the accuracy and the reliability of private testing, that’s not to say we rule that out, but we are continuing to take a very careful way through coming to a considered decision here.

“I know how important this is for the airports, but it’s also important that we get these decisions right so that we’re not increasing the risk that travel is posing to our efforts to control the virus.”

HeraldScotland:

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