“Passengers get ripped off with expensive PCR tests. We are told that it is justified to sequence the variants, but only five percent of the tests are. This barrier to affordable travel must end now. “
The average cost of £ 75 PCR tests in England and Wales is almost double that of the cheapest EU countries, including France (£ 42) and Greece (under £ 40), where many are subsidized or capped by their respective governments. The most expensive in Britain are £ 270 – almost seven times the cheapest in the EU.
Henry Smith, Conservative chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Future of Aviation, urged the government to rethink travel testing during the next traffic light review in three weeks and replace PCR with lateral flow.
“The next three weeks are critical to reviewing the entire testing regimen and its effectiveness. NHS test data proves you should have a much lighter test regimen, certainly for travelers from green countries, vaccinated or not, and seriously look the same for amber, ”Smith said.
“The testing regime is too cumbersome given the effectiveness it claims to provide in terms of protecting public health. “
Theresa Villiers, former Minister of Transport, said: “The success of the vaccination program here and in many other countries means that we have to start passing onerous and expensive testing requirements.
“Much progress has been made in resuming vacation travel, but ministers must push for further relief from testing obligations so families are not burdened with hundreds of pounds in fees. Greater use of cheaper and faster lateral flow tests would help. “
The requests came as the government tried to boost travel by lifting quarantine restrictions on France, adding seven countries to the green list and moving four – India and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar -om red to amber.
However, travel industry executives say many families are overpriced to travel due to the cost of PCR tests, which are required upon arrival from green and amber countries, even though people are vaccinated.
Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, claimed that nine in ten Spanish travelers had already taken a PCR test before boarding planes for the UK, as the quality of rapid tests in Spain was lower, although this had been contested by some travelers and tour operators.