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Heathrow Airport hoping to sell covid test kits in Arrivals

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Last week, the Government announced it would be moving towards reducing quarantine on UK arrivals from 14 days to five days provided you test negative for coronavirus on Day 5.

This is particularly helpful when returning from countries who are not on the travel corridors list.

Heathrow Covid-19 testing

Five days is – clearly – a much more manageable quarantine period and should mean that international travel is less disruptive in the coming months.

Whilst details have yet to be announced, in an email Heathrow said it was hoping to sell testing kits to arrivals:

“We’re working with our partners to ensure tests can be purchased at the airport however full details are still to be finalised on the type of test required.”

Presumably, you would register and pay for the test on arrival at Heathrow and then either take the test with you or get sent one on Day 5 of your quarantine. The details are sketchy but it would be convenient, assuming the Government allows home testing.

Comments (57)

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  • Mike says:

    With regard to testing for COVID on arrival at Heathrow would it not be better for the Government to coordinate / control this and then place anyone testing positive into a controlled self isolation perhaps taking control of a couple big hotels on Bath Rd.

    • MattB says:

      We were saying that back in march and April!!

      • Andrew says:

        The kits weren’t available in March.

        Whereas I now have a box of 20 lateral flow tests sitting at home to self test twice a week, and I still have a PCR test every fortnight.

    • Nick Burch says:

      This testing will happen 5+ days after arrival, so a bit late for people to then be put in a Bath Road hotel…

      • The real John says:

        They should be put in a hotel on arrival then tested

        • Nick Burch says:

          Who is going to pay for the 5 days of hotel until testing though?

          Given the lag from infection to symptoms and/or being infections yourself, testing on arrival doesn’t catch “enough” people, based on what the government is after. There’s a bunch of research out there on how different testing options at different points work, and a moderate amount of modelling on compliance for the options.

          5 days + test to release seems to offer better coverage than 14 days with limited checking, largely because of the increased compliance expected. Test on arrival or test before flight both miss a fair number, more than the UK government is currently happy to allow.

          NZ or AU style 14 days with testing is very expensive to run, capacity constrained, and not very popular with the people having to do it (even if the wider public who aren’t travelling might like it)

        • TGLoyalty says:

          And what about everyone that tests positive everywhere else in the uk do we round them all up too?

          Or were the the 20k+ cases a day all from travel?

  • Omar says:

    Has the Golden Circle quietly started offering breakfast with their Jade Tier when staying?

  • Jan M says:

    Worth pointing out that the cut in quarantine time is for England only. Wales has no plans to change its rules as far as I can tell. Which is a bummer for me.

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Can someone remind me the rate at which you can redeem points against F&B at Shangri-La Hotels?

    • Matthew says:

      1000pts = 100USD food and beverage (or 500pts = 50USD)

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        No need to exchange for vouchers any more. You can just present your card and use in 10 point increments. 10pts = $1 for Gold, $1.25 for Jade/Diamond.

    • the_real_a says:

      Check the hotel exchange rate however – its generally poor 10-20% less than XE.

  • james says:

    I don’t get the big deal about BA crockery, can’t you just buy plates much cheaper at M&S or Tesco? I mean the food doesn’t taste any better and it’s just white pottery, who cares?

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      This has been a bad year for frequent traveller news and so there’s been a lot of barrel scraping going on to find content. In normal times I doubt any mainstream press would be interested in this but surprisingly it’s been really popular and hit the no.1 spot on BBC News online and Rhys even made the TV in China and US. So it’s been a surprising success so why not run with it?

      People buy things for lots of reasons and it isn’t always price related. Whether they just want a souvenir of a previous flight or they want to collect various items from the airline.

      After watching this video I was very tempted to get the insulated box. Good condition and a BA souvenir. Unfortunately I’m not in the UK and they don’t deliver overseas.

      • Rhys says:

        It would have been big news in a normal year, too. People love this kind of story 🙂

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          I’m surprised! Do you know why they used ‘whatabuy’? Looking at the other (non BA) things it sells it seems very random a bit like Woolworths a few days before it closed down!

          Why don’t airlines set up a shop selling all this stuff? Perhaps they will after this

          • Rhys says:

            No idea why they chose Whatabuy, but presumably a lot easier to outsource than to set it all up in house for a limited time. BA has no experience as an online retail company.

          • Paul says:

            whatabuy is trading name of Kuehne+Nagel.
            Kuehne+Nagel do a lot of logistics at Heathrow (huge warehouse at Hatton Cross) – It could be that Kuehne+Nagel manage the warehouse stock of these items for BA so they are best placed to sell off excess stock.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Reports of items turning up broken.

        • Andrew says:

          I’ve had over 60 individual pieces of china and glassware delivered and nothing was damaged.

        • Rhys says:

          None of the people I know who ordered crockery have received broken items – and that’s quite a lot of crockery combined

        • ankomonkey says:

          Like a BA flight, then. Board your flight to find broken seat, IFE not working, etc.

          • EJC says:

            Have received only about 50% of my order I did receive a broken plate but only one, in a set of four.

      • Andrew says:

        They could have used Highlife Shop which they already have a relationship with Tourvest Retail which presumably works well and Tourvest won’t be doing much else at the moment with inflight duty free dried up.

      • Rob says:

        The BBC News story got 2 million page views ….

    • Andrew says:

      James if that was everyone’s view then the likes of Wedgwood would be long out of business and John Lewis home department would be a fraction of its size. And if you apply that principle to clothes – it’s a jumper can’t you just be one from M&S to keep you warm – the billion dollar fashion industry would be nonexistent. People buy things because they look nice and in the same way as when you go to a top restaurant you expect the plates to be equally as elegant as the food – why not enjoy your food on elegant crockery at home?

      • Rob says:

        Whilst this is clearly understandable if you are cash strapped, it is a pretty depressing approach to take in life. To paraphrase William Morris, you should not allow ANYTHING into your house which is not beautiful or does not bring you joy.

        At least that’s what my wife says when she turns up with another three figure Missoni cushion ….

        During the first lockdown I replaced quite a few things in our place because I was around more and simply wasn’t getting any pleasure from them.

        You are battling the kids of course …. my son insisted I buy him a £2.50 mug with a dog on it when we were in Wilko on Sunday!

        • Chris Heyes says:

          OOOoooo Right Rob You didn’t replace the kids then ! ! ! lol

        • Genghis says:

          Have you been Marie Kondo’ing your house? 🙂

        • Mike says:

          “you should not allow ANYTHING into your house which is not beautiful or does not bring you joy.” – well that’s the wife gone then and probably one of the children !

          • Chas says:

            I had been wondering whether to post something similar Mike, so now you’ve posted this I don’t need to decide quite how brave I’m feeling today…. 😁

          • ankomonkey says:


    • Paul says:

      Not only that if I was served dinner on a plate marked with BA logo I’d think it had been pinched.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        Only Virgin passengers steal the onboard items 😁

        I don’t know if they still do this but they used to encourage people to take home the salt and pepper shakers and they had something like “stolen from Virgin Atlantic” on them

        • John says:

          One of my favourite coffee mugs was liberated from Upper Class. I’m not sure if it was a standard one, but it has a lovely whimsical hot air balloon illustration on it.

          I was on an employer-funded flight that cost £4.5K, so under the circumstances I felt that taking a coffee mug on long-term loan wasn’t an entirely terrible thing to do. Although yes, I am aware that it’s technically theft!

      • Sandra says:

        +1 Paul 🙂 Would also remind me of my younger (drunken) days when we had a kitchen cupboard full of nicked stuff like this, especially Belgian beer glasses! Although I understand why maybe airline enthusiasts want to collect.

        • Rob says:

          I have a little Savoy milk jug which left the building during a drunken Christmas party around the year 2001! I also have Virgin Wilbur and Orville salt and pepper shakers from the late 1990’s – still going strong of course.

      • RussellH says:

        I just found that the blue plastic dishes the cats eat out of say “British Airways” on the back.
        No idea where they came from though:-)

    • Mark says:

      I had similar thoughts, but each to their own I guess..

      I suspect many HFP readers are value oriented and may view this expensive second-hand crockery. On the other hand a lot of us do use points and miles as a vehicle for getting that bit of extra “luxury” for the minimum extra outlay and/or are aviation “enthusiasts”. On that basis I can understand why it might appeal to some.

      • Andrew says:

        All the crockery for sale is brand new, not second-hand. Only the galley boxes and trolleys are used.

        • Andrew says:

          Also, collaborations or ‘collabs’ are very on-trend, which is effectively what this is: William Edwards x British Airways. Selfridges x Royal Mail has just launched a range themed gifts and fashion, which is no different – and presumably they think that will be popular too.

        • Rhys says:

          Although some of the galley boxes are near-new and in very good condition/don’t appear ever to have seen use

      • Peter North says:

        I also have the virgin salt and pepper metal shakers, I also used to take the safety cards, and napkins. I once found a copy of fiesta in the seat pocket in front of me, which provided a much more diverting and entertaining read than boring old highlife.

  • Bill says:

    Loganair flights can be booked on and have BA code share flight numbers allowing connections on one ticket. This is of course in addition to the Loganair website. The flights operate via LHR T2

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      I’ve not checked yet but presumably you need to book a connection to use the BA code? It’s a shame they’re no longer a BA franchise

    • Rob says:

      I think you can only book them on if they connect to a BA mainline flight.

  • David says:

    Not true … they can be booked stand-alone. But before anyone gets any ideas, the borders are still closed to non-residents at the moment

    • Michael C says:

      Yep, bookable as straightforward flights for cash, although BA Avios still says “We don’t fly this route”.

  • John says:

    Just saw a 1500 Avios for £100 spend offer on my BA Amex prem card.

    First 75,000 cardholders to apply, so should still be there for a while.

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