XpresSpa Group, Inc. says it is in discussions with airports and healthcare partners to provide screening and testing for COVID-19 at U.S. airports. The screening and testing would be conducted by converting select existing spa locations for this purpose on an interim basis and, over time, potentially adding separate, standalone airport locations as testing sites.
XpresSpa’s U.S. airport real estate portfolio consists of 46 locations across 23 airports, which the company said are ready to be reactivated and redeployed in short order, subject to the approval of local airport authorities. The company’s global spas are temporarily closed due to recent local government mandates categorizing its traditional services as non-essential services.
The company is forming a new business unit to administer such screening and testing capabilities, XpresTest, Inc., which will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of XpresSpa Group, Inc.
“We are moving forward with our public and private relationships to make COVID-19 screening and testing in U.S. airports a reality and hopefully will be able to begin pilot testing shortly for the benefit and protection of our fellow citizens,” says Doug Satzman, CEO of XpresSpa. “Since the onset of this pandemic, we have thought that we can and should play a significant role within the travel sector in the fight against COVID-19 and other highly contagious diseases in the future given our airport relationships, infrastructure, workforce with TSA clearance and strong desire to keep everyone safe.”
While nothing definitive has yet been finalized, XpresSpa said it is currently in discussions with three major airports JFK IAT, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) – to pilot COVID-19 screening and testing for airline employees, contractors and workers, concessionaires and their employees, TSA agents, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.
The company says it is in the process of recruiting a medical director who would work alongside healthcare officials to help design safe and compliant protocols and train employees. It recently announced a partnership with Relevant Healthcare, which is currently offering clinical diagnostic testing for COVID-19 through third party contracts. XpresSpa is also in discussions with other health care solutions companies.