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Paris airports to introduce antigenic Covid-19 tests

The tests return results within 10-15 minutes, and only people with a negative result will be permitted to fly

Passengers hoping to fly to and from Paris airports Roissy-CDG and Orly will now be required to take antigenic Covid-19 tests from October 26, in a bid to curtail the spread of the virus.

Antigenic tests will be done on-site, for passengers either departing or arriving.

They provide results within 10-15 minutes. 

Read more: Covid-19: 6 facts about France’s rapid antigen tests

For those departing only people who have a negative test result will be permitted to board.

The measure has been introduced at the suggestion of the airline industry, in an attempt to rescue its passenger levels, improve trust among travellers and between countries.

It is thought that the tests may also lead to less need for quarantines or other strict measures; however, current border restrictions, and individual country rules still apply, regardless of a positive or negative result.

Read more: EU provides colour-coded Covid map for Europe

Junior transport minister Jean Baptiste Djebbari confirmed on Friday October 16 that the tests would be in place by the end of the month.

In a statement, airline industry representatives wrote: "The [expected] upturn of this summer has not been confirmed; the resurgence of the virus, the closure of borders and a deteriorated economic situation have led to a sharp reduction in demand for air transport in the coming months.”

European airline companies have estimated that they are currently losing more than €13billion per month due to the effects of the Covid-19 crisis.

Airports have also seen traffic plummet; the ADP group, which owns Roissy-CDG, saw passenger numbers fall by almost 75% last month compared to usual figures.

Around 80% of international traffic is estimated to have disappeared due to the drop in travel.

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