Fears new ‘cheaper’ lateral flow holiday tests could cost the same as PCRs – making family breaks more expensive
TRAVELLING Brits hoping to save money on their holidays when the new Covid testing rules are brought in next month are being warned that their lateral flow tests may be just as expensive.
The government has lifted a number of travel restrictions in recent weeks, including the scrapping of the traffic light scheme.Lateral flow tests for holidaymakers may not be cheaper after all[/caption]
Also being scrapped from October 4 is the pre-arrival lateral flow test required by all Brits returning to the UK.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also confirmed that the expensive PCR tests, required on day two, will be scrapped later next month, and can be replaced by cheaper lateral flows, which currently cost around £30.
However, experts have warned that they may not be cheaper after all – as holidaymakers may need to pay for ‘supervised’ lateral flow tests, which aren’t as affordable.
A leading aviation source told Travel Weekly: “The danger is these tests have to be supervised or incorporate the cost of a follow-up PCR test [if testing positive]. Then the savings we hoped for won’t be achieved.
“A supervised lateral flow test might cost as much as a non-supervised PCR test, particularly if the cost of a follow-up PCR test is shared.”
While it is believed that the follow-up PCR tests would be free if they test positive, it could mean family holidays are still hundreds of pounds more expensive.
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A recent study found a family of four could spend up to £400 more on their holiday just for Covid tests, with gold-standard PCR tests costing £100 each on average.
Mr Shapps previously said that he hoped Brits would be able to use £5 supermarket Covid tests when they return from holidays abroad.
He pointed out that Lidl has started selling a pack of five lateral flows for 25 euros (£21) at its stores in Ireland.
Mr Shapps added: “I look forward to the expansion of lateral flow tests perhaps into supermarkets and elsewhere as we as we get onto the point where people can buy those returning from holiday.
“Remember with PCR tests you didn’t have to be supervised. You had to get that PCR test in advance, you had to record the fact that you ordered it, but you were then trusted to get on and do it.”
Here is everything you need to know about the new testing travel rules, starting from next week.
Holidays to Europe could be much easier – and cheaper – with the UK rumoured to be joining the EU Covid passport scheme.
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