“Gold standard” swab tests, which cost vacationers just £ 45 each, will be key to resuming overseas travel this summer, the transportation secretary hopes
- Vacationers can get a PCR Covid test for just £ 45 under government plans
- Currently, everyone who comes to the UK has to buy a £ 200 package of two swabs
- Price cuts for PCR tests give hope to millions who want to vacation abroad
Vacationers can get a Covid test for just £ 45 as part of government plans to make vacation abroad more affordable when international travel opens up.
The PCR tests, which are required by most European countries upon entry, would be offered at a fraction of the current price when the government’s plan goes into effect, the transportation secretary said.
Gold standard PCR swab tests will continue to be required for all travelers arriving in the UK, although the Prime Minister previously suggested that rapid cross-flow tests could be considered for use.
News of cheaper tests for vacationers comes three weeks after Boris Johnson asked officials to consider using the on-site rapid tests to make the tests more affordable The reopening of the holiday market from May 17th was a “priority”.
Grant Shapps, the transportation secretary, announced Thursday that “a new entrant” has made PCR tests available for £ 44.40.
Currently, anyone coming to the UK must take a pre-flight test and purchase a two-swab pack that can be used two and eight days after arrival.
Official packages use gold standard PCR technology and cost around £ 200 per head. This is expected to drop to £ 45 by May 17th when some international travel is expected to resume.
A traveler in the international arrivals area of Heathrow Airport near London, January 18, 2021
Shapps told Commons, “I know the House is interested in the update regarding trips returning internationally and I wanted to provide a very quick update to say that while we are doing PCR testing from a medical, scientific point of view need, but we have worked with private laboratories, pharmacies, supermarkets and other companies to encourage them to share their logistical know-how, enter the market and reduce costs.
‘We have had some success so far as the cost of a single day two PCR test from one of the major vendors on the government linked website has dropped to £ 60. A new provider is now at £ 44.90, which more allows people to access PCR testing when returning to travel internationally. ‘
The drop in prices gives hope to the millions of Britons desperate for a vacation abroad after months of lockdown.
In other good news, British tourists will be welcome in France from June 9th as long as they have a vaccination certificate or a negative test.
President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement comes after a study found that much of Europe could safely be put on the “green list” of travel this summer. The list could include up to 24 countries, reports The Times.
Mr Macron’s announcement will put pressure on ministers to resume vacation abroad at key hotspots for sun-hungry Britons.
Travelers coming to England from outside the UK are required to self-isolate for 10 days and have a negative coronavirus test
With the reopening of France, the restrictions on cafes and restaurants will be gradually lifted and returned to normal by June 30th.
Research from Yale University has shown that restarting without quarantine without traveling to popular destinations like Spain, Portugal and Greece would not increase infection rates.
And hospital stays would only increase by about six per day if travel resumed with up to 31 European countries. There are currently around 124 hospitalizations per day in England.
Johan Lundgren, head of easyJet who commissioned the study, said: “Based on the results of this groundbreaking research, and applying the principles set out in the roadmap set by the Prime Minister, easyJet can demonstrate that it is safe for much of Europe to travel to green list.
This is because the analysis not only shows that trips from several European countries, including popular vacation destinations such as Spain, Portugal and Greece, would not affect the case rate in the UK.
“More importantly, travel to and from Europe has very little impact on hospital stays in the UK.”
He stressed that countries with worrying new variants should continue to be subject to strict measures such as quarantine.
The study is to be submitted shortly for peer review. The ratings of the countries as green, amber and red will be set by May 10th.