Brits travelling on holiday in Spain could be the first to take a new coronavirus mouthwash test.
The breakthrough “less invasive” test for the detection of COVID-19 would replace the traditional swabs with a liquid which tourists would take as a mouthwash.
It would then be placed in a test tube and offer a “100% reliable result” within minutes.
The system, which also has a very low cost, is expected to be operational shortly once the test is approved by the European Medicines Agency.
Preliminary details of the revolutionary new test have been revealed by the president of the government of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres who made the revelation after welcoming the first tourist flight into Fuerteventura.
He said it was due to be operational shortly and would be available in a matter of days.
He said it would be “less invasive” than the present swab test.
All 150 passengers on board the Fuerteventura plane, who included travel agents and journalists, took the existing coronavirus quick test on arrival at their hotel on the island on a voluntary basis.
The Canary Islands have been pressing for some months for “absolute safety” regarding international travel and ideally want every tourist to take some sort of coronavirus test before they leave their country or on the arrival.
The regional government’s preference is for a test at source ie any Brits would take one before leaving the UK but leader have conceded it would be a very expensive exercise and would need the European Union to approve it across the board which is highly unlikely.
The Canaries have even suggested that holidaymakers pay for a test, estimated to be around 20 euros, which could either be incorporated into the cost of their holiday or their flight.
Alternatively, it could be funded by the hotels, the government or a combination of private-public co-operation.
Now, Mr. Torres says there could be another way to guarantee the safety of holidaymakers as well as of residents in the holiday destination.
Revealing details of the new mouthwash test, he said: “All this represents great progress so that we can offer maximum security at our airports.”
The flight into Fuerteventura came in from Düsseldorf and was operated by Condor Airlines. The idea was to present all the measures being taken by the island to the industry.
The Canary president said: “The will is that we recover air connectivity and tourism through all the formulas that make us have maximum health security at airports.”
He indicated that they would be interested in using the new mouthwash test for the arrival of both national and international holidaymakers.
Mr. Torres said work on the new test had been taking place for some months but he did not reveal where the laboratory was or if it originates from Spain.
With the UK government about to confirm details of its new traffic light scheme for countries where UK residents can travel, the mouthwash test could serve to quash fears over tourists bringing in a new wave of coronavirus on their arrival or on their return.