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Go with the flow! Costly PCR tests are phased out in the medium term in a big boost for the tourism industry

Expensive £ 100-per-go PCR tests for Brits returning from abroad will be AXED in favor of £ 20 lateral flow swabs in a few days in a major mid-term holiday boost for the tourism industry

  • The PCR tests, which cost more than £ 100 each, will be replaced by cheaper lateral flow rapid swabs from 24 October.
  • They will go on sale starting October 22, just as schools begin their mid-term breaks.
  • Health Secretary Sajid Javid said last night the move would make traveling abroad ‘easier and cheaper’


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Families planning a mid-term getaway got a big boost last night, as ministers confirmed that they will eliminate costly PCR travel tests in ten days.

The tests, which can cost upwards of £ 100, will be replaced by cheaper lateral flow rapid swabs from 24 October.

Essentially, they’ll go on sale starting October 22, just as schools begin their mid-term breaks.

The move could save a family of four around £ 200 on a trip abroad later this month, and is intended to boost confidence in the troubled travel industry.

According to plans, fully vaccinated tourists will now only have to take the rapid test after returning from safe countries on or before the second day.

Eliminating costly PCR testing could save a family of four around £ 200 per trip abroad when the switch to lateral flow testing takes place in ten days.

Eliminating costly PCR testing could save a family of four around £ 200 per trip abroad when the switch to lateral flow testing takes place in ten days.

A PCR test, free on the NHS, will only be required if the rapid test is positive.

Children are treated as if they are fully vaccinated, even if they are not, making family vacations possible.

But unvaccinated adults should be quarantined at home for ten days, a pre-return test within 72 hours, and two PCR tests on days two and eight after arrival.

Ministers had delayed announcing a specific date for the change to take effect due to concerns about whether private providers had enough supply to meet demand.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said last night that the measure would make traveling abroad “easier and cheaper.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the switch from expensive PCR tests to cheaper rapid lateral flow tests would make traveling abroad “easier and cheaper.” Photographed at Vale Medical Center in Forest Hill, South East London

I wanted the travelers to be supervised for the rapid tests, but now a photograph of the negative result taken with a mobile phone and sent to the supplier for verification will suffice.

Travelers will not be able to use the free trials provided by the NHS, but will have to book through private providers and prove on their passenger locator form that they have done so. Lateral flow tests typically cost between £ 20 and £ 40.

Some travel chiefs and MPs said the government should go further and discard all tests for fully vaccinated travelers.

Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: ‘If you’ve been criticized twice, why should you have to take a test?

“ Even being forced to perform a lateral flow test is the equivalent of a travel tax – you have to pay it, you have to, and you have no choice. These measures continue to be a barrier to building confidence to travel ”.

Labor Ben Bradshaw, a member of the Commons Transportation Committee, said that while the announcement was welcome, “it still leaves Britain with the most burdensome and costly travel regime of any European country.”

A PCR test, which is free on the NHS, will only be required if the rapid lateral flow test is positive, and children are treated as if they are fully vaccinated, even if they are not, helping to make the holidays possible. relatives.

A PCR test, which is free on the NHS, will only be required if the rapid lateral flow test is positive, and children are treated as if they are fully vaccinated, even if they are not, helping to make the holidays possible. relatives.

A PCR test, which is free on the NHS, will only be required if the rapid lateral flow test is positive, and children are treated as if they are fully vaccinated, even if they are not, helping to make the holidays possible. relatives.

He added: “What we really should do is follow Europe’s lead and allow test-free travel for double-vaccinated passengers and get in line with the rest of Europe.” But Tim Alderslade, chief executive of trade body Airlines UK, said: “We are grateful to ministers for getting through this in time for the crucial mid-term.”

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘Today’s rule changes will make testing on arrival simpler and cheaper for people anxiously awaiting well-deserved breaks.

“Eliminating costly mandatory PCR testing will boost the travel industry and is a huge step forward in standardizing international travel and will encourage people to book vacations with confidence.”

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