AviationEl Al allows passengers to be swabbed mid-flight and skip testing on arrival in Israel.

Now boarding: in-flight Covid testing

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El Al hopes the pilot programme will smoothen the arrival process for all inbound travellers to Israel.
El Al hopes the pilot programme will smoothen the arrival process for all inbound travellers to Israel.

As the Covid-19 pandemic looks set to become an endemic, travel industry players are looking to bring back a semblance of normality to the air travel experience.

Israel's national carrier El Al has rolled out an inflight Covid-19 testing pilot programme, which will enable passengers to skip the mandatory tests upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.

The airline has partnered XpresSpa, a health and wellness business, to trial the Covid-19 testing programme on flights departing New York's John F Kennedy Airport.

According to The Times of Israel, specially qualified personnel will administer the tests during the flight and mark the culture sample with a barcode to identify the passenger it came from.

However, El Al noted that the pilot programme is not a substitute for the Covid-19 test that passengers have to undergo up to 72 hours before a flight.

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