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Frankfurt Airport coronavirus test center opens

June 29, 2020

The scheme was launched in the hope of reopening air travel and "support a return to a new normal." It could help travelers avoid quarantine at their destination.

A passenger is tested at Frankfurt Airport
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/B. Roessler

Frankfurt Airport opened a walk-in COVID-19 testing center on Monday.

In cooperation with airport operators Fraport and Lufthansa, biotech firm Centogene hopes the operation at Germany's largest airport will serve as a "blueprint to opening international borders." The scheme is expected to run until July 31 next year. 

"Passengers flying to or from Frankfurt Airport with Lufthansa will be able to perform the test at a sampling center located near the main terminal," a Centogene statement said.

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The test "can either be completed the day before traveling or with a fast track solution the same day before departure. All results are delivered to the passenger via a secure digital platform and connected to their ticket — providing secured clearance for passengers flying to countries with entrance restrictions." 

The airport has capacity to carry out around 5,000 tests per day. These are voluntary, but cold help passengers avoid quarantine at their destination. However, DW's Chelsea Dulaney, who was present at the launch, says even the most expensive test can only provide a result within 2-3 hours. "That could be a hinderance to the adoption of the tests, as people would have to get to the airport even earlier," she said.

Read more: Coronavirus outbreaks: Will Germany become Europe's next major hot spot?

New normal

Dr. Volkmar Weckesser, Centogene Chief Information Officer, said: "Through our partnership with Lufthansa and our medical partner Dr. Bauer Laboratoriums GmbH, we can ensure a quick, accurate, and secure end-to-end solution that safely reopens air travel and further supports a return to a new normal for our societies and economies." 

China is among a number of countries where passengers will not be allowed to enter without prior COVID-19 testing.

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"By opening the test center, we are offering our guests a comfortable opportunity to test themselves for flights abroad or a stay in Germany to avoid quarantine," said Dr. Björn Becker, Senior Director Product Management Ground & Digital Services at Lufthansa Group. 

The testing center at Frankfurt Airport is the first such facility in Germany though numerous others exist around the world.

John Silk Editor and writer for English news, as well as the Culture and Asia Desks.@JSilk