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06.01.2021

Saliva instead of swabs – new coronavirus tests in the Zurich Airport testing centre

As of tomorrow (Thursday), coronavirus testing capacity at the Zurich Airport testing centre is to be expanded through the addition of provider Ender Diagnostics. The COVID tests offered by this service will be carried out via saliva samples rather than nasal swabs. Test results will be available within around five hours, rather than 24 to 48 hours for existing PCR tests. The testing centre will be operated by Checkport, a subsidiary of Swissport.

The new provider at the Zurich Airport testing centre, Ender Diagnostics, offers a new type of PCR test which uses saliva samples rather than conventional nasal swabs, making it a much more comfortable method. These tests are sold in the centre as self-testing kits and are carried out independently in testing booths without the need for medical staff. The testing booths are cleaned after each use.

This type of COVID test costs CHF 195 and the test result is available around five hours later. Once completed, tests are transported to the Swiss Analysis AG laboratory in Tägerwilen four times per day by a special courier. Tests that take place after 5 p.m. will be processed early the next morning. Customers will be informed of their test result by e-mail. Tests can currently be taken each day between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. without an appointment. The airport’s testing centre is located in the former Cards and ID Office in Check-in 2 on level 1. The tests are intended for people who are not showing symptoms and who need to take a test in order to travel or attend an event. This particularly concerns flight passengers since only PCR tests are authorised by the relevant authorities for travel to countries which require a COVID-19 test.

Expanded testing capacities
The pharmacy Amavita moved into the airport’s testing centre back in early December. Open daily, it offers rapid coronavirus tests for people with COVID-19 symptoms (not authorised for travel) by appointment (tel.: 058 878 25 60). The services provided by the Airport Medical Center remain available, including PCR tests and IgG antibody tests. 

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