In June 2020, Lufthansa partnered with CENTOGENE to launch the first COVID-19 test centre in Germany. Enabling passengers departing from or arriving at Frankfurt Airport (FRA), as well as those from the wider region, access to fast, reliable tests for SARS CoV-2 virus. This first “walk-in” coronavirus test centre served as the blueprint for a successful test concept and enabled passengers entering Germany from high-risk countries to travel with confidence.
Over the last two months, more than 150,000 passengers have been tested at Frankfurt Airport using CENTOGENE’s highly sensitive SARS-CoV-2 PCR test. On average, one percent of the samples taken tested positive during the last six weeks and over 97 percent of these results were transmitted digitally to passengers in less than 24 hours. Passengers who registered in advance waited approximately 20 minutes before being tested. The majority of these passengers were travelling from Spain, followed by the USA, Turkey and Croatia. Approximately 50,000 of these passengers were tested before departure to countries including China and Dubai where a negative test result is mandatory for entry. The general population from the wider Frankfurt region have also been encouraged to use the test centre and since mid-August, an additional test centre has also opened at Hamburg Airport.
On average, approximately 4,500 tests per day were carried out at the test centre in Frankfurt Airport during July and August and following the recent expansion, will now enable testing capacity to exceed 10,000 tests per day. More than sufficient during times of high demand, the CENTOGENE service complements the existing public laboratory capacities of the health care system and aims to relieve them. The expansion also aims to keep waiting times to a minimum with the introduction of fast lanes, available to those travelling on airlines within the Lufthansa Group. Special fast lanes are also available for Lufthansa Group status customers, business and first class travellers.