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SWISS plans to introduce rapid pre-boarding Covid tests

Zurich Airport is reportedly looking into pre-boarding tests Keystone

German airline Lufthansa will introduce rapid tests before certain flights to detect Covid-19 in passengers. If the trial, set to start in October, is successful, it will be expanded to Lufthansa subsidiaries Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) and Edelweiss.

The tests are being developed by the Basel-based pharmaceutical company Roche, according to reports in the NZZ am Sonntag and SonntagsZeitung.

It is unclear on which flights the tests, which could cost around €10 (CHF10.80) per passenger, will be trialled, the papers said. Lufthansa said it was looking into various price models, such as including a certain amount in the ticket price.

The requirement to have a negative Covid-19 test when boarding a plane could allow exemptions from entry bans and compulsory quarantine, the papers wrote.

Zurich Airport is also reportedly examining how to integrate such tests into its operations.


Since July 6 anyone entering Switzerland from a country or area with an increased risk of infection must spend ten days in quarantine and report their arrival to the relevant cantonal authority within two days or face a fine.

The economic repercussions of the coronavirus have caused turnover at SWISS to fall by 55% in the first half of 2020. Last month CEO Thomas Klühr warned that the company was still losing a massive amount of money and a return to profitable flights was likely to take time.

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SWI – the international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC). Since 1999, has fulfilled the federal government’s mandate to distribute information about Switzerland internationally, supplementing the online offerings of the radio and television stations of the SBC. Today, the international service is directed above all at an international audience interested in Switzerland, as well as at Swiss citizens living abroad.
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