Published on Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Cardiff Airport could become first in UK to Covid test all passengers


Cardiff could become the first airport in the UK to test all passengers for Covid-19 on arrival following the outbreak of the virus among holidaymakers returning to Cardiff from the Greek island of Zante.

Wales Health Minister Vaughan Gething told the BBC he was looking again at testing passengers on arrival to try to contain the virus.

Responding to criticism that it took as long as a week for the government test and trace system to contact passengers to tell them they might have been infected on a TUI flight to Cardiff from Zante, Mr Gething said testing on arrival might be an option.

He told Radio Wales: "Testing at an airport is not something I have ruled out. I want to have another look at whether that would be possible with more time to plan for that.

"It would add to the time it takes people to get through the airport but it could protect passengers, their families and communities in the best way."

He claimed the contract tracing system was reaching 90% of contacts but admitted it couldn't reach everyone because some people were, he claimed, giving deliberately false information.

Six clusters of around 30 cases of Covid-19 have been identified among holidaymakers returning to Cardiff on flights from Greece.

TUI has now cancelled all holidays to the island's party resort of Laganas where the cases are believed to have originated and passengers arriving in Cardiff from Zante are being asked to quarantine for 14 days.

They will also be offered two Covid tests - one in 48 hours and another in eight days.

Mr Gething said the Welsh government hadn't ruled out further travel restrictions to Greece. The Scottish government has already imposed a quarantine requirement on all arrivals from Greece from Thursday due to country's rising rate of Covid infections.

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