EU Commission acquires rapid antigen tests for the travel sector

Rapid antigen test at Vienna Airport (Photo: Granit Pireci).
Rapid antigen test at Vienna Airport (Photo: Granit Pireci).

EU Commission acquires rapid antigen tests for the travel sector

Rapid antigen test at Vienna Airport (Photo: Granit Pireci).
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The EU Commission is now taking 100 million euros for the purchase of corona rapid tests. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) explicitly named "travel" as a planned area of ​​operation. According to the politician, the funds can be used to purchase up to 22 million rapid tests.

With the announcement by the EU Commission, the debate about antigen tests is gradually gaining momentum. Airports as well as airlines and tourism are pushing for the introduction of these as a replacement for the patchwork of entry and quarantine regulations currently in place. Only those who are negative are allowed to board the plane or cross the border by land. The costs of the rapid tests are around ten to 15 euros and deliver a result in around a quarter of an hour.

Only a few days ago, Greece launched an initiative at EU level to be able to agree on rapid corona tests, at least within the Schengen area. Ursula von der Leyen now seems to support this and considers antigen tests to be useful before boarding. In an initial reaction, Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr welcomes the Commission's plan, but also told Tagesspiegel that he hopes that such a procedure can be agreed with, for example, Asian countries and the USA. The airlines' idea is simple: Air traffic could get up and running again largely without quarantine and other harassment. The Lufthansa Group and other airlines have very specific projects. For example, Vienna Airport and Austrian Airlines started a corresponding pilot phase on Friday - Aviation Direct reported.

However, it will take some time before an agreement can be reached at EU level, because Germany of all places is currently still strongly opposed to the use of rapid antigen tests on air travel. The capacities can be seen better in old people's homes, according to Health Minister Jens Spahn, who himself suffered from Covid-19. However, the worsening financial situation of the airlines could very soon lead to a rethink, especially if the EU Commission President is pushing for it and tests are bought.

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Editor of this article:

Jan Gruber is Senior Editor at Aviation.Direct. Before that, he had held the same position at AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net) since 2012. He specializes in low-cost carriers, regional aviation in the DA-CH region and in-depth research.

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Jan Gruber is Senior Editor at Aviation.Direct. Before that, he had held the same position at AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net) since 2012. He specializes in low-cost carriers, regional aviation in the DA-CH region and in-depth research.

[email protected]aviation.direct

Nobody likes paywalls
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Information should be free for everyone, but good journalism costs a lot of money.

If you enjoyed this article, you can check Aviation.Direct voluntary for a cup of coffee Coffee trail (for them it's free to use).

In doing so, you support the journalistic work of our independent specialist portal for aviation, travel and tourism with a focus on the DA-CH region voluntarily without a paywall requirement.

If you did not like the article, we look forward to your constructive criticism and / or your suggestions for improvement, either directly to the editor or to the team at with this link or alternatively via the comments.

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