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The first easyJet holidays’ summer customers take off from Gatwick as business continues to return to airport

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It’s another welcome sign that the airport is starting to pick up since lockdown began to ease.

easyJet holidays has started taking its first ever summer customers on holiday since the launch of the business in November last year and since travel restrictions and quarantine advice changed.

Customers will be jetting off from London Gatwick airport to enjoy holidays to the likes of Crete, Rhodes, Malta and Turkey. When customers arrive on holiday there will be local gifts to enjoy courtesy of easyJet holidays and their destination partners to celebrate the first arrivals.

To help support and prepare customers for what to expect on holiday in these times, easyJet holidays has created a customer video and provided detailed information pages on its website – a Covid-19 response and a safety and wellbeing centre.

Matt Callaghan, Customer Director at easyJet holidays said:

“This is a really big moment for us and it is hugely exciting to be taking our first customers away this summer. We know how important holidays are to us all and we also recognise that for many a holiday this year feels even more significant. We’ve made a series of commitments and put in a number of steps to help ensure customers can have a safe and enjoyable holiday. We’d also like to say a huge thank you to all of our partners for the part they have played in getting ready for today.”

Stephen King, Head of Airline Relations at Gatwick Airport, said:

“The launch of easyJet holidays from Gatwick Airport is a really significant step off the back of an incredibly challenging few months, not just for the aviation industry but for individuals and families across the country. For people to have the opportunity to get away to easyJet holidays’ fantastic range of destinations from Gatwick this summer is great news and something certain to give many families a huge boost.

“As an airport, we have implemented numerous new measures to ensure the safety of both passengers and staff travelling through Gatwick, which will help keep passenger safe and help to rebuild confidence in flying, whether to see family and friends, to enjoy a much-needed holiday or to travel for business.”

Today also marks the day that the new comic book inspired face masks for children will start to be available on easyJet flights. The masks, designed by Irish artist Will Sliney, best known for his work on Marvel comics Spider-Man and Star Wars, are just one element of the new measures the airline has introduced on flights to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of all customers and crew onboard.

easyJet holidays has great value deals on a range of holidays bookable all the way through to October next year. All holidays include 23kg of luggage per person, with transfers included on beach holidays.

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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