The airlines argue that virus testing before departure is vital in order for people to travel safely again.
Passengers traveling to Hong Kong and Italy from Heathrow Airport in the UK will be given a one-hour coronavirus test before leaving the UK to open international travel, The Times reported on Tuesday.
Rapid tests will be rolled out at London’s Heathrow Airport starting Tuesday to allow travelers to travel to countries that require a negative COVID-19 test result to avoid long quarantine, the newspaper said.
Passengers must pre-book a test at a cost of £ 80 (US $ 103), the report added.
The airlines Collinson and Swissport have set up rapid test facilities for outgoing passengers at Heathrow, the newspaper said.
The test facilities will initially be open for four weeks and could be expanded if there is sufficient passenger demand, the report added.
Heathrow, Collinson and Swissport did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comments early Tuesday.
Airlines such as British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific are among the first to offer passengers using Heathrow Terminals 2 and 5.
More than 40 million people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus worldwide, and there has been a surge in new cases in Europe. Countries like Hong Kong have kept the virus in check with tight border controls and quarantines.