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Dublin: 8°C Monday 30 November 2020
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Covid-19 drive-thru test centre opens at Dublin Airport today

The two screening centres will offer tests priced between €99 and €159.

All major Irish airports now have test centres in place.
All major Irish airports now have test centres in place.
Image: Shutterstock

A DRIVE-THRU COVID-19 test centre is opening at Dublin Airport from today. 

Testing facilities are already operational at Cork and Shannon Airports.

Drive-thru and walk-thru facilities will be operated by two private providers at Dublin Airport from today. 

The two screening centres will offer tests priced between €99 and €159.

Diagnostics group Randox will operate a walk-in centre that conducts PCR tests and will deliver results in 24 to 48 hours.

A private healthcare company, Rocdoc, will offer the drive-thru service, with PCR tests costing €129.

Again, it will take between one and two days for a result from PCR tests to be returned. 

Currently PCR tests – the standard Covid test, usually using a nasal swab – are the only type of test recognised by Irish health authorities. 

The Rocdoc facility will also offer LAMP testing, which is not yet recognised in Ireland in terms of international travel, but which has a shorter turnaround time. 

Other EU countries operate different testing regimes and travellers are urged to check the requirements for their destination country.

The National Virus Reference Laboratory (NVRL) is currently carrying out a validation process on LAMP testing, it is understood. If approved by the Department of Health, the new test could be incorporated into Ireland’s testing regime. 

RocDoc will be offering LAMP tests priced between €149 and €159. 

Between the two test centres, Dublin Airport will have the capacity for up to 12,000 Covid tests per day in the run up to Christmas.

Yesterday, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said if people do need to travel home to see their family this Christmas they should follow the rules set out under the EU traffic light travel plan.

Speaking to Newstalk’s Pat Kenny, the health minister said there are two different parts to the government advice around international travel and Christmas, which he believes the public understand.

“The first part of the message is we’re in the middle of the biggest pandemic in 100 years… so the public health advice is if you don’t have to travel… in the middle of a global pandemic, which is causing so much hurt and pain and cost for everybody, then don’t.”

“The second part of the message is, however, if you do need to travel, and that includes if you haven’t seen your family, and if you do need to come home and see your family at Christmas, then there is a clear traffic light system in place with protocols you need to follow,” said Donnelly.

“I think that is a pretty common sense approach,” he said.

Under the new EU traffic light plan, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control publishes a weekly map of the EU using a three-stage colour system to indicate the level of risk in each area: green, orange and red.

Levels are determined by a variety of epidemiological factors including the 14-day incidence per 100,000 population and the level of positive tests.

Currently, as the second wave rages on the continent, pretty much everywhere is ‘red’. There’s a smattering of orange areas and absolutely no green. 

Ireland signed up to the plan in October.

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From midnight on 29 November, travellers arriving into Ireland from so-called ‘red’ regions in the new traffic light system will be advised that they no longer need to restrict their movements once they pass a Covid-19 PCR test five days following their arrival here.

Travellers arriving from orange regions do not have to restrict their movements if they carry the results of a negative Covid-19 test taken at least three days before their arrival.

Those who do not have a negative test upon arrival in Ireland can have a test taken five days after their arrival. 

Passengers will be asked to restrict their movements until they get the test.

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