In the meantime, numerous politicians from various EU countries should have realized that the current system of travel warnings, entry restrictions and quarantine obligations for the entire transport and tourism industry is gradually making survival impossible. Germany is now examining the introduction of rapid tests that could, for example, be carried out before every departure.
Very reliable antigen tests are now available on the market. These deliver a test result within about 15 minutes. If this turns out negative, the passenger can fly. If it is positive, it is up to the health authorities to initiate further measures if necessary. The IATA is now pushing for such a solution. For example, a rapid corona test could be carried out during the security check. This would make entry and quarantine restrictions obsolete.
In Germany, the project is now so advanced that the Lufthansa Group is talking about the fact that such rapid tests could be introduced before each departure in the course of October. They are already in intensive negotiations with the pharmaceutical company Roche and want to purchase antigen tests for flight attendants. This reports Reuters. At the official level, intensive negotiations take place between the federal and state governments. Another part of this is that it is intended to be used in old people's and care homes. Visitors and staff would be tested daily, which should ultimately lead to more safety for the residents.
Of course, aviation hopes that corona rapid tests will be introduced as soon as possible, ideally worldwide, before each departure. At the same time, attempts are being made to hold talks that should result in the states assuming the costs. Some providers have strong arguments, because if things continue as they are now, many airlines are threatened with bankruptcy or some carriers could very soon apply for additional government aid. The costs of rescuing corporations such as Lufthansa or Air France-KLM could be far higher than the provision of antigen tests. Currently, the price of these is between ten and 15 euros, whereby it is to be expected that the unit costs could fall with high purchase quantities. A counter-argument that can definitely be used is: An amount of up to around 15 euros per one-way flight would be accepted and paid by passengers with a high degree of probability in the interests of health and safety.
So far, the use of rapid tests has not been used in Europe, as the accuracy has not been sufficient until now. The latest developments should, however, provide sufficiently good results that mass use is conceivable. In any case, the Lufthansa Group is pushing for all of its markets to be introduced as quickly as possible. Austrian Airlines also has very specific plans here. The company said it wanted to roll it out as soon as possible, but has not yet been able to give an exact date. Negotiations are in progress regarding the financing.
In Germany, people are considering buying around ten million rapid tests at a price of around 100 million. No decision has yet been made about the exact use. In Austria they are not averse to the project, but are already testing it intensively at the business university. Rapid tests are carried out before lectures with many students. The Ministry of Health wants to analyze the experience gained and also use this method elsewhere. Corona quick tests before every departure, before attending a Bundesliga soccer match or a concert therefore no longer seem so utopian, but a thoroughly realistic option that will soon offer many industries new courage, new hopes and new opportunities. Those who test positive have to stay outside and a classic PCR test can still be carried out for verification.