Berlin's Tegel Airport initiated free COVID-19 tests for passengers coming from high-risk areas in Berlin on Wednesday afternoon. The testing centre, operated jointly by Charité and Vivantes hospital groups, was set up in a tourist office booth in terminal A near Gate A01 and is due to be open daily from 8 am to 8 pm.
The tests conducted at the airport are offered exclusively to returning passengers who do not show any symptoms. Results of the tests at the airport are expected to be ready within 48 hours, and can be found online with a personal code given to the returnees.
Passengers arriving in Berlin aboard Turkish Airlines flight TK 7728 from Istanbul became among the first to try the new COVID-19 test offer. Meanwhile, some of the volunteers had to wait for another hour in the queue, as the new testing facility was still not ready for use.
On Monday Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) held a conference call with his counterparts on the state level, and announced plans to introduce mandatory tests for those arriving in Germany from countries and areas considered to be have an increased risk of COVID-19 infection by the Federal Government and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Arrangements for this move are already being made at both Berlin airports — in Tegel's Terminal D and Schonefeld's Terminal M.