- MAG is set to increase its three testing sites (currently one at each airport) to 11 across Manchester, East Midlands and London Stansted airports
Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has announced plans to more than treble the number of testing sites at its airports ahead of the restart of international travel.
MAG – which owns Manchester, East Midlands and London Stansted airports – also confirmed Randox will join existing partner Collinson to operate the sites, which will be a combination of walk-through and drive-through testing centres.
Together, they will operate 11 sites across MAG’s three airports, offering passengers a range of tests for arrival and departure, including packages for amber/green list countries, plus Test to Release, which unlocks passengers from quarantine after a full five days.
Both providers will offer unique tests, including Randox’s rapid 1-3-hour PCR test and Collinson’s same day Test to Release offering. Currently PCR tests can take up to 48 hours, meaning passengers have to come to the airport ahead of their trip. However, with Randox’s rapid PCR test, with results available in just 1-3 hours, travellers can save time and do the test on the day of travel.
Collinson’s same-day Test to Release process uses a rapid LAMP test, meaning that passengers can get their results back on the same day and release from quarantine on day five* with a negative result. Other providers use PCR, meaning it can take up to day six or seven to get a result. These are just two of the services Randox and Collinson will provide across MAG’s airports, with more than a dozen tests and options available.
Brad Miller, Managing Director of MAGO, said: “We are pleased to be increasing our testing facilities at all three of our airports ahead of international travel re-starting in earnest.
“Our partnership with Collinson has proved to be successful since launching in December and we are delighted to be welcoming Randox on board.
“This new partnership means customers flying through our airports have a wide range of options to suit their circumstances.
“By offering both arrival and departure tests, as well as a choice of walk-through and drive-through test centres, passengers know they can select whatever it is they need to make their trip as stress-free as possible.
“We are looking forward to working with both partners and hope to get Britain flying again as soon as possible.
“Finally, I’d like to thank all of the staff and colleagues involved from all organisations, in delivering these new services.”
David Evans, Joint CEO of Collinson, said: "The new spacious facilities will enable more travellers to be tested in a safe and comfortable environment, ensuring that departures and arrivals can happen as conveniently as possible.
Collinson is proud to offer the full range of Government-approved COVID-19 testing solutions, including the only Test-to-Release process that allows travellers testing negative to be safely released from quarantine after just five full days. We're continuing to develop and strengthen our relationship with MAG, offering a full spectrum of tests and helping to support travellers as they prepare for a well-deserved summer break.
David Ferguson, Sales Director from Randox, said: “To date Randox has processed over 13 million gold-standard PCR samples, and testing continues to be a vital part of the response to COVID-19 – not only to identify cases and prevent further spread, but also to assist with a return to social normality and international travel.
“We are delighted to be working with Manchester Airports Group to support its enormous efforts to ensure passenger safety, and with premium COVID testing services in place across Manchester, East Midlands and London Stansted airports, our new partnership will allow people to get back in the air again when international travel resumes.
“Randox is committed to providing accurate and cost-effective testing to ensure that essential travel, and holidaying when and where possible, is accessible, affordable and reliable and as such have invested in our capacity to now be able to process over 500,000 tests per day.”
MAG is the UK’s largest airport operator and has been at the forefront of passenger safety throughout the pandemic. It was one of the first airport groups to introduce a range of onsite safety measures including mandatory face coverings, enhanced cleaning, bookable security slots and sanitiser stations. It opened its first testing centres in December 2020 with Collinson and has performed over 100,000 tests across its three airports to date.
Breakdown of testing centres by airport:
- Manchester – The Station – Walk-through and Runger Lane – Drive-through
- East Midlands – Administration Building – Walk-through and Long Stay 1 – Drive-through
- London Stansted – Terminal Walk-through and JetParks Zones T – Drive-through
Collinson tests on offer:
- Departures – PCR (within 48 hours)
- Departures – LAMP
- Departures – Antigen
- Departures – Antibody
- Arrivals – Green Arrival (Day 2)
- Arrivals – Amber Arrival (Day 2 and 8 package)
- Arrivals – Test to Release (same day)
*Please note that the Government stipulates that the day of arrival is regarded as Day 0. Test appointments should be made for before 4pm in order to receive same-day results (before midnight).