A few weeks ago I wrote about Lufthansa and Fraport announcing they would soon offer a practical PCR testing solution at Frankfurt Airport in order to obtain test results valid for travel/immigration purposes.

This option is now avaiable and has been installed at Frankfurt Airport through a company called CENTOGENE and pricing is actually very moderate IF you have a 6-8 hrs time (express tests available too at a steeper price).

Lufthansa has announced in mid June that the carrier will organize facilities to administer COVID tests for passengers at their hub airports Frankfurt and Munich (at a fee).

Now Centogene, a German company founded in 2006 has worked together with Lufthansa and Fraport to offer PCR tests right at the terminal.

The CENTOGENE Test Center is centrally located at Frankfurt Airport between Terminal 1 and the national long-distance railway station (ICE station).

Here is how they describe the service:

Lufthansa, Fraport, and CENTOGENE have partnered to offer Coronavirus testing at Frankfurt Airport via a Test Center in the immediate vicinity. This is an RT-PCR test (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Test), which detects whether there is an acute infection with the virus, and thus the risk of infecting other people they come in contact with. The detection is carried out by means of a throat swab.

The diagnosis of acute COVID-19 is established via a throat swab. This can be done by a healthcare professional or independently following simple video instructions. The sample is then taken to the laboratory, where the genetic information (RNA) of the virus is detected by means of so-called RT-PCR.

The SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test is a real-time test based on the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 in samples of the upper respiratory tract (oropharyngeal swabs) collected from individuals suspected by their healthcare provider to have COVID-19, belonging to a risk cohort, or having been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient.

The results are used to identify SARS-CoV-2 RNA, which is usually detectable in oropharyngeal samples during the acute phase of the infection.

Sounds relatively straight forward so what is the cost of this entire procedure?

There are two test options:

  • 59€ incl. VAT – receive results within 6-8 hours if sample is taken between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. (if sample is taken after 3 p.m. the report is delivered by 12 p.m. the next day)
  • 139€ incl. VAT (Express Test) – receive results within 3 hours if sample is taken between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. (if sample is taken after 3 p.m. the report is delivered by 11 a.m. the next day)

For an additional charge of 9 €, there is also the option to obtain an official, internationally valid verification for authorities in various countries – certifying that the test results belong to you and have not been hampered with. This verification includes the documentation of the travel document and the identity of the tested person.

Obviously this certification is absolutely required. Why would you get tested there if you didn’t need the certification for a specific travel purpose after all?

So  68 € plus 6-8 hours of wait or 148 € if you need it fast. The operational hours of the testing center are “sort of” difficult, although you need to be extremely early anyway. I’d probably play it safe and book a night at the airport hotel to take the test and then relax at my hotel room. Unless you find a lounge at the airport to hang out for that long (not sure if the lanside Priority Pass Luxx Lounge is open again).

This is the entire registration and testing process per a flyer they provided on their website:

Download (PDF, 542KB)

Here is a location map with some basic information on it as well:

Download (PDF, 379KB)

Several airports in Europe such as Vienna and also Frankfurt itself already offer COVID tests for passengers in respective medical facilities however the conditions in terms of availability and pricing are a bit complicated at the moment depending what your purpose and insurance coverage is for these tests.

This is a private company offering the tests, not a medical center that offers direct billing to any insurance company. If you want to expense this test with your health insurance then that’s between you and them. I recommend to ask your insurance provider beforehand what kind of tests or providers (if any) are covered under your policy and what the reimbursement requirements are.

I guess we have to factor this inconvenience and cost into our travel plans for the time to come.

Conclusion

You need to register and pay for this service prior to arriving at the test site. A face mask has to be worn and the passport is required in order to add the personal details to the certificate. Also consider that you shouldn’t  eat, drink, or brush your teeth 15 minutes before the test.

To offer the option for…

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