Two Covid-19 testing facilities will open at Dublin Airport this Thursday.
The testing facilities, which will be operated by healthcare firms Randox and RocDoc, will offer passengers and consumers the option of either a drive-through test or a walk-in test.
Prices, which are set by the providers of the service, will start at €99 and both PCR and LAMP testing will be available.
The testing facilities will be fully open to the public, whether they require a test for travel or for another reason.
All customers will need to pre-book their test online in advance and this can be done directly with the healthcare company in question.
Links to the booking portals will also be available on the Dublin Airport website.
The healthcare providers that are working with Dublin Airport have testing capacity of more than 12,000 tests per day if needed, and this will shortly be expanded to 15,000.
“We have been keen to provide testing at Dublin Airport for some time and the Government’s recent decision to grant planning exemption, which we strongly welcome, will enable two testing facilities to open this Thursday,” said Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison.
There is a demand for travel-related COVID testing, as several countries now require arriving passengers to have had a negative COVID test result prior to travel.
Testing is also one of the elements of the new European Union/European Economic Area traffic light system for travel, which has been adopted by Ireland and other European countries.
“We have significant capacity in place to implement high volume PCR testing, which is currently the only method of COVID-19 testing recognised and approved by every country worldwide,” said Sophie Boyd, Project Manager for Randox’s testing service at Dublin Airport.
RocDoc Chief Executive David Rock said the company had been working with Dublin Airport for more than two months in relation to the new facility and was “pleased to get the go ahead” to begin.
“We will be installing a category two laboratory and testing facility, which will be able to process over and above the expected tests per day,” Mr Rock added.
Mr Harrison said the opening of dedicated Covid-19 testing facilities at Dublin Airport was “a very positive step to help people travel safely and meet emerging rules both at home and abroad.”
However, he added that ultimately “Ireland needs a rapid low-cost COVID-19 testing system for travel similar to those being trialled and used in other countries using Antigen testing”.
Randox’s walk-through facility will be located in an existing building close to the Terminal 2 multi-storey car park and will have separate entry and exit points for customers.
RocDoc’s drive-through facility will be located in the Express Green car park, which is accessed via the R132 (Old Airport Road). Both facilities will be clearly signposted.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Irish Government has set the State’s rules in relation to COVID-19 and travel and that continues to be the case.
Last week, the Government adopted the EU traffic light system on travel, within which specific regions are independently designated as Green, Orange or Red by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (EDCD) depending on the level of cases in those areas.
The State is advising that consumers “exercise a high degree of caution” if travelling to countries covered by the EU traffic light system. The advice for other countries is to “avoid non-essential” travel. (Full details on www.dfa.ie)
There are no restrictions on travel from a Green area to another other country within the system. Each EU member state can set its own rules in relation to how it deals with arriving passengers from Orange and Red areas.
The Irish Government has said that passengers arriving from an Orange region should restrict their movement for 14 days unless they have a negative/not-detected result from a COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than three days before their day of departure.
At the moment, any passengers arriving from a Red region are requested to restrict their movements for 14 days. From midnight on November 29, arriving passengers from Red regions will not have to continue to restrict their movements if they have a negative/not-detected result from a Covid-19 PCR test taken at least five days after arrival in Ireland.
Any passengers who are required to take a COVID test for travel to another country should familiarise themselves with the requirements of the country in question in relation to testing. Each country sets its own rules in relation to which tests it recognises.