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Dangerous toys seized and destroyed at Gatwick Airport

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Dangerous toys and other illegal goods have been seized at Gatwick Airport and destroyed following an investigation by West Sussex Trading Standards.

Officers were alerted by Border Force in September 2019 after they had concerns about some products imported from China for sale on a major online selling platform.

106 boxes containing toys, swimming goggles, ear candles and children’s playpens were inspected by Trading Standards and Border Force officers.

A sample of the playpens was then sent for testing. Results showed the packaging posed a risk of asphyxiation and the product did not comply with labelling requirements.

Proper labelling on the other toys was also missing.

Trading Standards officers contacted the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to verify the ear candles were a registered medical device as claimed by the importer. They confirmed these products were not registered and therefore cannot be supplied in the UK.

The importer was unable to confirm that the goggles were safe and complied with the relevant legislation on personal protective equipment.

All the goods were refused entry and the importer paid for their destruction.

Border Force stopped more toys at Gatwick Airport in December 2019 and once again alerted West Sussex Trading Standards.

These toys had come from China and were due to be sold on a major online selling platform.

The boxes of toys contained ‘Avengers’ surprise toy eggs, make your own jewellery sets, build your own garden sets and super hero wrist slapper bracelets.

Officers immediately noticed that the toys were incorrectly labelled.

Samples were then sent for testing and results showed some of the toys posed a choking hazard to children under three.

Packaging on some of the items was also deemed to be a suffocation hazard because the plastic was too thin.

As a result of these findings, the toys are believed to be counterfeit.

All four boxes of toys were destroyed at the importer’s cost.

Peter Aston, Trading Standards Team Manager, said:

“These goods could have caused serious harm if sold in the UK and some of the toys mayhave been fatal for a young child.

“When shopping online, we would urge people to only buy from reputable brands and retailers.”


Anyone who thinks they have purchased an unsafe product, should contact Trading Standards at www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport or via Citizens Advice on  03444 111 444.

Gatwick

New COVID-19 screening service launches at Gatwick Airport

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Gatwick Airport andExpressTest (a division of Cignpost Diagnostics Limited) has today announced the opening of a brand-new COVID-19 screening centre. 

The site, located within the airport’s Long Stay Car Park at the South Terminal, will offer a fast and accurate and lab-analysed PCR swab test.  It will be available for both passengers, employees based at Gatwick and the general public, including local residents, from Monday, 30th November.  

The facility is for air passengers who may require a valid, negative COVID-19 test certificate for destinations requiring one from up to 96 hours before travel, with passengers needing to check with travel providers that the test meets the specific requirements destinations ask for. 

It will also help those who may simply want extra assurance that they are not currently carrying the virus. 

The facility could also, with any necessary amendments, satisfy requirements of the Government’s expected “test and release” post arrival scheme allowing air passengers to reduce quarantine time required after travelling back from certain destinations.  Anyone with recognisable COVID-19 symptoms will still need to use an NHS testing facility. 

Air passengers and any employees based at Gatwick Airport will be charged a subsidised rate of £60 to use the screening service, whilst it will also be available for the general public for £99. 

A group discount is also offered, with up to 30% off for groups of four or more, for those who are having the full priced test.

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick Airport, said:

“Reducing the spread of COVID-19 is a priority for us alongside giving confidence to so many people who have missed travelling during this difficult year.  Our new screening facility is also a convenient service to offer people in the region looking for extra reassurance.  We are pleased to be subsidising the price for our passengers and any staff based at Gatwick so they are compliant with current destination requirements that many of airlines including easyJet, British Airways and TUI fly to.

“Our industry has been decimated by the pandemic and, while we welcome the anticipated  “test and release” scheme from the Government, we want to see an internationally agreed pre-departure testing regime, based on existing risk criteria, to replace the current uncertainty of quarantine and patchwork of testing approaches which currently exists across Europe.  A truly international approach would safely open up most of the UK’s travel routes abroad, while also helping to reduce transmission of the virus.”

ExpressTest Founder Nick Markham said:

“We are delighted to be Gatwick airport’s official screening partner.  We launched ExpressTest to give people peace of mind, whether that’s enabling

travel through our Fit to Fly certificates, or providing the reassurance needed to safely visit friends and family abroad or within the UK.  In the next couple of months we aim to have more than 30 locations operating across the UK, with the ambition of giving the British public the confidence to go about their daily lives in these uncertain times.” 

According to a press release, ExpressTest is delivered using the latest gold standard PCR equipment that is fully CE-IVD certified and manufactured to the highest possible standards, and tests are carried out by specially trained screening practitioners.  

The lab-analysed test results will be emailed or texted to customers typically the next day, with airline passengers advised to schedule a test 48-96 hours prior to their departure time, as a precaution.  Those who screen negative will be emailed a Fit to Fly certificate that is authorised by a doctor, along with their test result, however passengers will be responsible for checking with their travel provider as to whether this document is accepted before booking the screening service. 

Bookings open from Friday, 27th November, with the first test available on Monday, 30th November.

To book a test, people will need to visit www.expresstest.co.uk and select a date and time.  Customers will then be sent a QR code which they must bring with them to their appointment, along with their passport or employee ID. 

Payment will be taken during the booking process. 

Opening hours are 08.00 to 20.00 and customers are asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to appointments.

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