Drive-thru Covid testing could help restore confidence in travel, says airport communications chief 

Drive-thru Covid testing could help restore confidence in travel, says airport communications chief 

Tester Samantha Jakstonyte pictured with Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director, Cork Airport at a RocDoc drive-thru Covid-19 testing centre at Cork Airport. RocDoc will be conducting pre-departure tests for passengers flying out of the airport in accordance with the EU's traffic light system. 

DRIVE-thru Covid-19 testing at Cork Airport can restore confidence in air travel, according to Cork Airport’s head of communications, Kevin Cullinane.

The testing facilities, which are located next to the old terminal and commenced operations today, are being run by Irish healthcare company RocDoc.

Mr Cullinane said now that passengers can get tested in advance of travel, there is additional peace of mind in relation to travelling by plane.

“Covid has decimated our business,” said Mr Cullinane. “We are down 95%, from nine airlines and 52 routes to two airlines and two routes.”

Mr Cullinane said that this new initiative would allow the company to rebuild air traffic once level 5 restrictions are reduced.

“When restrictions lift in December, there will be more people coming through the airport,” he said.

“There are fewer flights than last year, a lot of people are resigned to the idea that they are not going to fly home. It will be a quieter year, but it offers hope for the restoration of the future of the airport.”

Mr Cullinane said that, in the short-term, Covid testing is a new integral part of flying.

It comes ahead of the introduction of new travel rules later this month which mean people travelling to Ireland from “red” listed regions will no longer have to restrict their movements for 14 days once they receive a negative Covid-19 test after arriving in the country.

The test must be taken five days after arrival in Ireland.

It means if people receive a negative PCR test they will be free to move around rather than having to restrict their movement for 14 days.

The new travel rules are due to come into effect from midnight on November 29.

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