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Tampa International Airport Now Offers COVID Tests For Passengers

Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano
Tampa International Airport
Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano speaks at the launch of the airport's COVID testing program.

Passengers flying to and from Tampa International Airport will be able to get coronavirus tests before their flights. The airport is offering the service in partnership with BayCare.

Starting Thursday, the airport will offer two types of tests: one that produces results in 48 hours, and another which is ready in about 15 minutes.

The service is available to anyone flying to or from Tampa. But passengers will have to pay for it. The two-day PCR test costs $125, while the shorter antigen test is $57. BayCare will not bill insurance.

Tampa International says it’s the first airport in the U.S. to offer on-site COVID tests. “As a gateway to the West Coast of Florida with a growing market for international travel, Tampa International Airport has a responsibility to explore safe, rapid and affordable ways to keep our travelers, their destinations and our community as safe and healthy as possible,” airport CEO Joe Lopano said in a statement. The tests are a pilot program running through October. Similar trials are underway at London’s Heathrow Airport and German airline Lufthansa.

Health experts say rapid testing will be key to reviving the travel industry, which has suffered massive financial losses since the start of the pandemic.

Bradley George was a Morning Edition host and reporter at WUSF until March 2022.
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