Oslo Airport opens COVID-19 testing centre for arriving passengers

Posted: 19 August 2020 | | 3 comments

The testing centre has been opened in order to reduce the likelihood of the COVID-19 virus being imported into Norway from abroad.

Oslo Airport opens COVID-19 testing centre for arriving passengers

Credit: Avinor

Working in partnership with the municipality of Ullensaker, a coronavirus testing centre has been established in the baggage hall at Oslo Airport (OSL).

The service is available for use by passengers arriving from abroad who wish to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Norway. The local health authorities are responsible for the testing centre, while Avinor is providing assistance through the facilitation of premises and necessary infrastructure.

The Mayor of Ullensaker, Eyvind J. Schumacher, said: “We are delighted that the testing centre has now been established. This is a challenging operation to put in place and get up and running since the levels of air travel to and from Oslo Airport are completely different in proportion to what is experienced at all other airports across the country. For the municipality of Ullensaker, it has been important for us to emphasise that the country’s main airport is also a national issue. Ullensaker does not have a budget that will allow us to pay the full bill for a testing centre, which costs at least 6 million Norwegian Krone (£5.1 million) per month to run. We are pleased that the Norwegian Directorate of Health has now issued us with a written guarantee that this expense will be underwritten by the state.”

The centre at the airport will be staffed on a 24/7 basis by health personnel from the LHL Hospital at Gardermoen. The testing premises are located adjacent to belt 1 in the baggage hall and is available to the approximately 7,000 passengers who arrive at Oslo Airport from outside the country each day.

Ragnhild Vasset Hjerpsted, Director of Terminal Operations at Avinor, said: “Avinor is committed to ensuring that both its employees and passengers using its facilities feel safe. We have implemented a range of measures to reduce the risk of infection. Since January 2020, we have been working in partnership with the health authorities and facilitating their work to implement measures that they deem necessary at Norwegian airports. The implementation of a testing centre for arriving passengers is a new initiative that has been put in place to reduce the likelihood of the infection being imported from abroad.”

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