Travel: Expert discusses vaccines and Covid tests
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Holiday costs can soar as travellers are still required to pay for travel tests from NHS Test & Trace. These additional costs can add up making foreign travel too expensive for many Brits. The Government faces a backlash from the travel sector, who claim ministers aren’t doing enough to encourage travel confidence.
UK holidaymakers will be able to benefit from cheaper travel testing packages from today as the cost of tests could fall by as much as a fifth.
The Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I know how much people have looked forward to their summer holidays and that the cost of PCR testing can be a barrier to that.
“That is why I am determined to protect consumers and hardworking families from exploitative practices and ensure high-quality tests are available at a reasonable price.”
NHS Test and Trace tests for international arrivals will be reduced from £88 to £68 for green or fully vaccinated amber arrivals.
Two tests are still required for arrivals from amber list countries who are not fully vaccinated.
These will be reduced from £170 to £136 for the two tests needed.
Mr Javid has also announced there will be a speedy internal review of the pricing and service standards of all test providers.
He said: “I look forward to reviewing initial advice from the Competition and Markets Authority over the coming days.
“I’ve also ordered my department to urgently review the list of private providers on gov.uk to ensure pricing is clearer and transparent.
“Any provider found to be misleading the public will be kicked off.
“Too many providers are acting like cowboys and that needs to stop. The public should be allowed to enjoy their summer holidays without having to face excessive costs or anxiety.”
The review of these test providers by the CMA will start this weekend and will last for 10 days.
Providers who fail to meet necessary standards will be removed and misleading pricing will be clamped down on.
This latest reduction is the second time the costs of NHS tests has been reduced.
A review in May saw prices drop from £210 to £170 for a day two and day eight test package.
NHS Test and Trace advertises travel tests alongside private companies’ testing packages.
All of these must fulfil the UK government’s testing requirements for international travel.
PCR testing is still free for Brits with Covid symptoms.
From 16 August PCR tests will also be free for under 18s and those that are fully vaccinated who have been identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for the virus.
Britons can book free PCR tests or order home PCR tests online or by calling 119.
But as has always been the case, all tests used for travel must be bought by travellers themselves.
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