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Tampa International says it is the first airport in the country to offer Covid-19 tests on all flyers

(CNN) – Passengers passing through a Florida airport will soon be able to take the Covid-19 test.

Tampa International Airport in Florida has launched the new program and says it is the first airport in the country to offer both PCR tests and rapid antigen tests on all flyers. The tests will be available to any arriving or departing passenger, said John Tiliakos, executive vice president of operations and customer service at the airport, in an online news release.

Testing services will be available for a walk from Thursday, October 1 to October 31.

On Tuesday, Florida announced a jump in new coronavirus cases, just days after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order allowing restaurants and bars to operate at full capacity. The new cases rose to 3,266 from 738 reported on Monday, according to the state health department, the highest number in a single day since Sept. 1
“We will build the trust of the traveling audience by giving them the opportunity to take a test right here at the airport before boarding the flight,” airport chief executive Joe Lopano told a news conference on Tuesday.

“This is the only airport in the whole country that does these tests for anyone, going to any destination, to any airline, only TPA does that and we hope others will follow. Testing is the key to returning to people to travel. “

According to Tiliacos, the test will be available every day from 8 am to 2 pm and will be open to all tickets that fly or have flown within three days and can show proof of travel. The PCR test will cost $ 125 and the antigen test will cost $ 57.

The tests will be performed by BayCare nurses and medical professionals, and passengers have the option of receiving a PCR test with results within 48 hours or a rapid antigen test that gives passengers results within 15 minutes, Tiliakos said.

“This is about taking a bold step to restart air transport. It’s about instilling even more confidence in the flying audience, and frankly it’s about bringing our industry to life, which is very much needed right now,” he added. Tiliakos.

American Airlines also plans to offer Covid-19 tests, initially for flyers traveling to Caribbean destinations, including Jamaica and the Bahamas. The airline intends to expand the program to other markets in the near future, an online statement said Tuesday.

The initial testing program for Jamaica will begin at Miami International Airport in October, and the airline is working with the Bahamas and CARICOM (Caribbean Community) to expand the program in the Caribbean, according to the announcement.

Pre-flight tests will also be available soon from Dallas-Fort Worth International to Hawaii.

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