‘Fit to fly’ testing clinic launches

A private testing site has opened in the Black Country to help meet a “surge” in demand – and to certify those preparing for the relaxation of rules as “fit to fly”.

Clinician Libby Porter (left) and Mia Woodhall at the private testing site at Hilton Hall.
Clinician Libby Porter (left) and Mia Woodhall at the private testing site at Hilton Hall.

DAM Health UK launched the clinic at Hilton Hall on Hilton Lane, Essington, following sites in Liverpool and Manchester, which opened in December.

It offers people who need to catch a plane for business purposes – along with others – to undertake a Covid-19 PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) test, with the results back on the same day and a “fit to fly” certificate issued if it’s clear.

It costs about £119 and is a health declaration accepted by the major airlines.

Government chiefs have stated people cannot use tests provided by the NHS to get a test for international travel purposes – and said the service is only available through private providers.

PCR tests – which are analysed by a lab – are already offered by the NHS but most people receive their result either the next day, or up to three days later.

Professor Frank Joseph, director of DAM Health UK, warned Covid-19 testing was “here for the long term” as he announced the expansion.

He said: “Testing is now a way of life. Our expansion to the Midlands will help meet demand from people requiring private Covid-19 PCR testing.

Clinicians Libby Porter and Mia Woodhall outside Hilton Hall.

"Even with the vaccine, which only stops people getting sick, we will need negative tests before travelling overseas for holidays or work and for gatherings. Many people are taking tests with us before visiting extended family bubbles too.

“Testing helps to stop the spread of the disease. Until we know whether the vaccine stops us from transmitting the virus, we will still need to be tested on a regular basis.

"Previous vaccines for other things have shown a decrease in transmissions, but we can’t take anything as a given with this virus, so we need to continue to work towards protecting people and this includes testing.

“People are already making booking enquiries with us ahead of the summer holidays when travel rules could be relaxed.”

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