WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — On-site coronavirus testing is now a reality at Bradley International Airport.
The idea was first floated over the summer. Now, with the loosening of travel restrictions, the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) and State Treasurer Shawn Wooden, who serves on the CAA Board, unveiled one of the first rapid testing sites to be housed inside an airport terminal.
The unveiling comes after Governor Ned Lamont agreed to give travelers from restricted states the option of testing negative either three days before or after arriving in Connecticut, in lieu of quarantining for two weeks.
“Previously, passengers traveling to Connecticut from states affected by the state travel order were only permitted to avoid a 14-day quarantine if they were traveling for specific purposes and if they received a negative COVID-19 PCR test in the 72 hours prior to arriving in Connecticut,” according to airport officials.
Passengers were already lining up on Wednesday, including the Dickey family from Colchester, who just returned from a trip to Disney World.
“We’re trying to get the boys back to school,” said dad, Christopher. “We were at risk of keeping them out for three weeks. With a negative result, we should get them back to school on Monday.”
“This is great,” said mom, Lynn. “It’s super convenient.”
With air traffic at Bradley down up to 80% from this time last year, officials are counting on the new convenience to boost business.
“We really needed to start to do things to instill confidence in the traveling public to resume flying,” said CAA Executive Director, Kevin Dillon.
“What’s going to happen here with the number of flights and the vision is bright,” asked Treasurer Wooden. “We are going through a dark period now, but the step today is a step in the right direction.”
One catch may be the cost. The tests are free with insurance, but cost $125 for the uninsured.
Some 32 states, Puerto Rico and Guam fall under a travel advisory for the tri-state. Colorado was just added to that list, and Virginia and Arizona were removed.