With the spectre of a European second wave of COVID-19 ahead, The Aurora Group is planning to offer testing to guests whilst staying at its Airport Hotels at Heathrow Airport.
The package will initially be introduced at the Aurora Group’s luxury hotel connected to Heathrow Terminal 5, the Sofitel London Heathrow, starting at £179.
You will be able to book a package comprising of an overnight stay together with a self-administered saliva-based PCR COVID-19 test kit provided by HALO. Arora Group’s other Heathrow hotels will also be rolling out the package shortly.
Arora Group currently operates the following hotels in the Heathrow Area:
- Sofitel London Heathrow, Terminal 5 (Accor)
- The Renaissance London Heathrow (Marriott)
- Holiday Inn Express London Terminal 4 (IHG)
- Crowne Plaza London Heathrow Terminal 4 (IHG)
- Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Terminal 2/3 (Hilton)
The COVID-19 screening system behind Aurora’s ‘Test and Rest’ programme is operated by HALO.
The process looks pretty simple:
- Guests at the hotel simply download the Halo app, scan their test kit, spit in a tube and put it back in the Halo pack.
- The sample is then sent off to HALO’s facility where it is tested (PCR Test)
- Results are sent to guest’s app along with a certificate. Providing the test is negative, you can travel.
Surinder Arora, Founder and CEO of Arora Group, commented:
“Our beloved hospitality, airline and the wider tourism industry has been devastated by the pandemic and we felt the need to do something to give both business and leisure travellers the confidence to travel. The ability to stay in a hotel the night before a flight and get a recognised PCR saliva-based COVID-19 test and subsequent result before the flight the following day – just made sense”.
Dr Nigel Kellow, Chief Medical Officer at HALO said,
“We’re really excited to be able to work with Arora Group on this pioneering initiative to help get the world moving again. We believe that in HALO we have created a system that offers hotel guests and many others a safe, secure and simple way to travel and enjoy life again in confidence. We hope more organisations in the travel industry will follow Surinder Arora’s example.”
Attempting to open the world with testing, as well as a day to prepare
For those needing the reassurance of a test along with a night at a hotel, this could be a very tempting option, as it provides a valid PCR test along with a nights stay to consider your next steps – reducing the stress of travel at this time.
With tests at Heathrow going for £80 (with a 60-minute response), and Boots charging £120, it seems to be a reasonable price for a test and a bed for the night.
Testing will be important to reopening the world, as countries demand proof of travellers not carrying COVID into their areas (whilst they attempt to control their cases.
It will be interesting to see if other hotels adopt similar test offerings with their stays, as well as other offerings.
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