Logan Airport

This New England Airport Offers Coronavirus Testing. Experts Say It Could Soon Be the Norm

Experts say coronavirus testing facilities at airports could soon become the norm across the country as the industry seeks to boost confidence in air travel.

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Bradley International Airport in Connecticut launched a COVID-19 testing site for passengers on Wednesday. The state partnered with Connecticut-based Genesys Diagnostics to operate the site inside the airport, which will be limited to passengers and employees.

Elsewhere, XpresSpa, a health and wellness firm, announced last week it had begun construction of a testing facility at Boston Logan International Airport's international arrivals area. The facility is expected to operational by November.

According to the company, the facility will include seven testing rooms that can accommodate over 400 tests per day, including rapid molecular tests, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests and the antibody tests.

Experts say such facilities could become the norm at airports.

“If you take the test and you're negative, you can avoid the quarantine at your destination," travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt said. "But if these go well I expect we’ll see more airlines and more airports offer them including potentially, of course, Boston Logan."

Harteveldt, of the Atmosphere Research Group, said testing is seen as a way to boost confidence in air travel and allow passengers to avoid quarantine restrictions. Right now, it’s only being offered in a handful of airports and for certain flights.

As the number of passengers traveling continues to improve from the drastic lows earlier this year, it’s still a far cry from pre-pandemic levels. Nationwide, air travel is still down about 60% and even worse at Logan, which is down about 80%.

“I think it’s great if people want to do it,” passenger Andrea Beckerman said. “It’s good convenience, we had to get COVID tested before we came here, so it would be easy if we could have done it at the airport."

Getting a test pre-flight might be more convenient than heading to a local clinic, but passengers could be responsible for the cost and there could be lines to worry about as well.

“Am I going to be tested an hour before,” wondered passenger Helen Oluokun. ”Would that mean I’ll have to get to the airport a little earlier than planned? If I don’t get tested, does that mean I can’t get on my flight?”

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