PCR tests to be scrapped for returning vaccinated travellers
Following the news that the traffic light system is to be revamped comes the prospect that fully jabbed travellers may not have to take expensive PCR Covid tests on return to the UK.
According to government officials, PCR tests could soon be a thing of the past for fully vaccinated travellers entering the UK from green and amber list countries.
According to the Daily Mail, it could be announced at the next travel review and take effect by next month.
The current rules require a PCR test to be taken on the second day after arrival, and these are expected to be replaced by cheaper lateral flow tests. The average price of a PCR test ranges between £70 to £105.
Discussions are due to occur at the Covid-Q committee, which comprised the PM, Chancellor, Heath Secretary and Cabinet Office Minister.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid told Sky News:
‘I’m not going to make that decision right now, but I’ve already asked the officials that the moment we can, let’s get rid of these kinds of intrusions. The cost that generates for families, particularly families just trying to go out and holiday, we shouldn’t be keeping anything like that in place for a second longer than is absolutely necessary.”
Travellers will still have to comply with the entry rules of the country they are travelling to. However, some popular holiday destinations in Europe, including Germany and France, do not require PCR tests for fully vaccinated arrivals.
The proposals have come amid claims by holidaymakers that they have been left waiting days for PCR test results after forking out many hundreds of pounds. In addition, some PCR test firms have been found to advertise a price, but at check out, the price had increased.
In August, Mr Javid announced a “rapid internal review” of prices charged by government-approved PCR test companies after claims holidaymakers were being exploited.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has called for stricter oversight on test providers and ‘wider sanctions.’ It issued some recommendations, and the Health Secretary announced fixed fines of up to £10,000 for violations.
The review will be completed by 1 October, and aims to reduce the cost and simplify international travel.