Although most borders are shut, some airports are still functioning albeit at a much lower than usual capacity. Whilst most are using thermal scanning as the first line of prevention and defence, here are 4 international airports that have stepped up their game as frontliners in the fight against Covid-19 with on-site testing.
#1 Singapore Changi Airport
The city-state has been conducting swab tests for Covid-19 at immigration checkpoints since 4 March for those exhibiting a fever or other symptoms of respiratory illness that may or may not meet the clinical definition of the disease.
At present, however, Singapore has shut their borders for all short-term and transit visitors from anywhere in the world. Only citizens, work pass holders, their dependents and those providing essential services are allowed in.
#2 Dubai International Airport
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Emirates have partnered up to conduct on-site rapid Covid-19 testing. The Gulf carrier is the first airline to do so and kicked off testing on a 15 April flight to Tunisia.
The quick blood tests can provide results in as little as 10 minutes. Tests are conducted at the group check-in area of Dubai International Airport Terminal 3.
#3 Tokyo Narita Airport
Japan has started on-site Covid-19 tests for passengers arriving from severely affected destinations such as the United States and Italy. Travellers undergoing the test are not allowed to use public transport and therefore cannot leave the airport unless they have arranged a private pick-up. The airport has provided makeshift bedding made of heavy-duty cardboard, a futon and quilt for those who are stranded.
#4 Hong Kong International Airport
All travellers arriving are required to undergo mandatory Covid-19 testing. Travellers are divided into two groups: those flying in from high-risk destinations and those arriving from lower-risk countries.
Travellers identified to be high risk must isolate at the airport and undergo a test to which the results are released in 8 hours. Low-risk travellers are given a different test with results available in a few days. They are allowed to leave the airport but must wear a tracking wristband to ensure they are behaving well and self-isolating (let’s just say a few wristband-wearing travellers were found out and about in March!)