Heathrow’s rapid COVID-19 test kits developed by UKRI-China project

Sun rise at Heathrow

Landing at Heathrow (credit: PeterHulse/GettyImages)

New rapid COVID-19 tests are being offered to passengers at Heathrow airport to help passengers meet certain countries’ entry requirements and reduce the stress of securing tests elsewhere in time to travel.

An Oxford innovation

In March 2020, scientists from the University of Oxford’s Engineering Science department and the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) successfully developed a rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19.

The team developed primers adapted from an established technology known as loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP).

The test is a simplified, one step version of a viral RNA test. It provides reliable results in just half an hour, and doesn’t require specialist training.

The first tests were administered to departing passengers at Terminals 2 and 5 on 20 October.

Read the full article: T2 and T5 testing facility launches.

A UK-China success story

Funded by UKRI, this project is just one example of how UK-China scientific partnerships are helping support the global fight against COVID-19.

More than a decade of UK-China research and innovation partnerships have focused on addressing the most pressing international challenges in the spirit of shared responsibility and commitment to excellence.

Last updated: 8 November 2020

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help improve our online products and services.