Ministers are accused of abandoning plans to lower the price of holidays abroad by allowing families to take free rapid Covid-19 tests
- Earlier this year, a scheme was being considered to allow Britons to do a lateral flow test
- But sources said the money to pay them would run out this month
- And the insiders added that there are no plans to replace the funding
Ministers have been accused of abandoning plans to lower the price of holidays abroad by allowing families to take free rapid Covid-19 tests.
Earlier this year, a scheme was considered to allow holidaymakers to take a lateral flow test before returning to Britain.
But sources said the money to pay for it would run out this month — and no plans to replace the funding have been announced.
There were concerns about whether the tests would receive official approval due to the difficulty of proving when they were administered, as well as questions about their accuracy.
It means that pastors have missed an opportunity to save money in distressed families when they go abroad.
Earlier this year, a scheme was being considered to allow holidaymakers to take a lateral flow test (pictured) before returning to Britain
Cheaper and faster lateral flow tests are currently being distributed free of charge by the government to anyone who needs them.
And airlines have argued that the UK is holding passengers to much higher standards than other countries by refusing to allow the rapid tests, which ministers deem good enough for schools.
Not providing the free tests means that families going abroad will have to pay for pre-return tests in order to return to the UK.
While the NHS’ lateral flow tests are CE approved – meaning they meet certain safety and specification standards – travelers must be supervised while taking.
This is partly so that people can receive official documentation stating when the test was taken and the official result to be presented at the UK border upon return.
But it could potentially mean NHS staff to monitor people taking the tests via an online video call, something for which there are very few resources.
It means that families are forced to look to private providers. British Airways offers a pre-return test that is verified via an online video call for £39.
This would add over £150 to the bill for a holiday for a family of four, or nearly £200 for a family of five if their children were 11 or older.
Paying for a doctor abroad to administer one can lead to an even higher bill.
The cost of testing from private providers has generally fallen as more companies have entered the market.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, one of 17 MPs who signed a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling on him to cut VAT on PCR testing, said the government must deliver on its promise to provide free testing equipment that people in their homes can use. can carry luggage. to take with you
But of the more than 300 government-approved providers listed online, the average total price of a single PCR test is still over £100.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, one of 17 MPs who signed a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling on him to cut VAT on PCR testing, said the government must deliver on its promise to provide free testing equipment that people in their homes can use. can carry luggage. to bring along.
He said, ‘They should get through the free tests. They desperately need to deliver on that promise to the British public and to airlines and airport operators.”
A spokesman for the Ministry of Health said: ‘We want to keep travel as safe as possible and lateral flow testing is widely available at a low cost in most countries on the green list. We are looking at how we can further reduce costs by working with the travel industry and private test providers.’