New Study: Rapid Antigen Tests Compare Well With Quarantine in Halting Travel-Imported COVID Cases Surveillance 25/03/2021 • Raisa Santos Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) A new study suggests that administration to travelers of a rapid antigen test upon arrival at their destination, may be just as effective as quarantine requirements, to stop imports of COVID-19 cases. A new study published by a consortium of UK-based airline industry interests suggested that administration to travelers of a rapid antigen test upon arrival at their destination, may be just as effective as quarantine requirements, to stop imports of COVID-19 cases. The study, which reviewed case studies of airport testing procedures elsewhere, claims that a single on-arrival antigen test is as effective as a ten-day-self isolation period in reducing imported cases of COVID-19, while testing after five-seven days of quarantine may catch as many as 90% of cases. Specifically, it found that: Air passenger testing after five days of quarantine in Iceland is between 83% and 90% effective. Testing after seven days in Toronto and Paris is between 84% and 90% effective. Single tests on arrival in Canada (Toronto-Pearson Airport), France (Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport), Jersey and Iceland detected between 54% and 76% of infected travellers. “Real world evidence supports a significant reduction in current UK 14-day quarantine policy,” claimed the studies authors who also disputed a previously published Public Health England (PHE) paper that had concluded airport testing would identify only ‘7%’ of virus cases. The study was prepared for a consortium of British airlines interests, including Virgin Atlantic, Heathrow Airport, and the International Airlines Transportation Association. “We believe that international travel can safely restart at scale, using a risk-based, phased easing of testing requirements and border restrictions, that follows the scientific evidence,” Virgin Atlantic’s chief executive Shai Weiss said, upon publication of the review. Britain has currently banned all foreign travel, except for essential work, education, or health reasons. The ban, along with the current quarantine requirement, was supported by the PHE paper. The new study finds that this significantly underestimates the effectiveness of passenger testing. The study has been submitted to Britain’s Global Taskforce, which is set to review how and when travel should restart on 12 April. Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons: Nemo. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Combat the infodemic in health information and support health policy reporting from the global South. Our growing network of journalists in Africa, Asia, Geneva and New York connect the dots between regional realities and the big global debates, with evidence-based, open access news and analysis. To make a personal or organisational contribution click here on PayPal.