New hub for Covid-19 testing to be launched at Sofitel London St James in heart of Central London

TD Editor

Sofitel London St James has announced, through its partnership with UK biotech firm HALO, that a new testing hub for Covid-19 will be launched at the hotel. The hub will allow for hotel guests, local businesses and members of the general public who live or work nearby to access saliva-based testing in-person or via door-to-door delivery.

The launch of the new hub means Sofitel London St James becomes the first Central London hotel to provide space and facilities for a Covid-19 test centre.

In addition to the existing ‘Test & Rest’ package whereby hotel guests can book an overnight stay together with a HALO test, Sofitel London St James will now be providing the wider community with access to centrally located testing facilities. HALO is a non-invasive test which is analysed using state-of-the-art automated tools to extract RNA from a saliva sample and test for a gene that is only present in Covid-19. It can deliver results with almost 100% accuracy and reduces inconclusive testing to less than 2%.

Marie-Paule Nowlis, general manager at Sofitel London St James, said: “In the spirit of communities coming together at this important time, we are proud to be able to offer on-site testing for Covid-19 at the Sofitel London St James. Not only will this facility be available to our guests and business travellers but to those living and working in the areas near our hotel. It is important that we all look to what we can do to help others and I hope that the availability of our testing hub will assist those in the local community hoping to get back to normality.”

Alistair Ruffett, head of operations at HALO, said: “The opening of our Covid-19 testing hub at the Sofitel London St James is a great step forward to creating greater access to non-invasive saliva-based tests for the Central London community. We will now be able provide almost 100% accurate tests in person or facilitate close door-to-door delivery with results being made available within 24 hours, with the potential for certain results being accessible within 90 minutes. We would like to thank the Sofitel London St James for providing the space and support to launch this important service.”

The Sofitel London St James testing hub will use two types of saliva-based Covid-19 tests – PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification). Both tests are almost 100% accurate and affordable, with prices starting at £49.99. Results from PCR tests are usually available within less than 24 hours, meaning it works well for people looking for an accurate test they can take without leaving home. LAMP tests can be conducted much faster, potentially within 90 minutes, and processed onsite. They are especially useful for businesses who need fast, accurate tests for employees in the office, or for organisations that need to test employees before they travel or for one-off events.

Further to the testing hub, the Sofitel London St James has introduced a new programme of intensified hygiene and prevention measures to ensure the safety of its guests, visitors and staff. The ALLSAFE programme guarantees the implementation of the strictest cleaning standards and operational protocols in the world, developed in collaboration with Bureau Veritas and audited by independent local expects Clifton.

Following the use of the HALO test, users can track its progress via the HALO app. Notifications will be provided when the test is received, processed and when the result is ready. Users will receive a verification certificate with your results that can be downloaded or stored for proof of a test.

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