Omega Institute for Modern Learning in collaboration with Rambam Medical Center has won the tender to operate the Covid-19 laboratory for PCR testing at Ben Gurion airport, the Israel Airports Authority has announced. The cost of a test per passenger will be NIS 44.88, less than half the price that had been expected.
The winning bidder has committed to setting up the testing infrastructure and laboratory at the airport within 45 days after which the service will be provided to passengers flying out from and flying into Israel. The service will also include fast-track testing for people flying out.
90 companies registered for the tender and more than 150 companies had shown interest. But ultimately there were seven bids. Omega will provide results within 14 hours of the test and within four hours of the fast-track test, which will cost NIS 135. All passengers can ask for a fast-track test, which costs hundreds of shekels in private clinics around Israel.
Omega is committed to setting up a computerized network so that travelers can make an appointment, take their test and be issued with a 'medical passport' in Hebrew, English or any other language required.
The big question is how all this will affect Israel's policy and procedures regarding arrivals. At present Israelis coming in from 'red' countries with high infection rates need to isolate for 14 days and non-Israeli passport holders are completely barred from entering the country.
Omega will set up one testing center in the E-Wing of Terminal 3 at Ben Gurion airport as well as a 'drive in' testing center at the airport. Incoming passengers will be tested in the arrivals hall from where there samples will be taken to the laboratory.
Passengers arriving from 'red' countries will be required to remain in isolation until the results are received within 14 hours.
The tender to operate the center is valid for three years with an option to extend for two more years. If the demand for the service dries up because of the introduction of a vaccine or another reason both sides will be entitled to terminate the agreement. The tender winner also has an option to open a similar testing center at Ramon airport near Eilat.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 31, 2020 © Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020