Lateral flow displacement tests are now offered for £ 1 – but with many conditions – .

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Lateral flow displacement tests are now offered for £ 1 – but with many conditions – .


Travelers returning from overseas to England can now book cheaper lateral flow tests rather than PCRs. For fully vaccinated international arrivals from Sunday, October 24, the cost of the so-called “second day” test for travelers is expected to drop.
Announcing the change, Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The removal of mandatory and expensive PCR testing will boost the travel industry and is a big step forward in standardizing international travel and encouraging people to book vacations. in complete confidence. “

The government website lists vendors with prices starting as low as £ 1. But the research of The independent shows that the cheapest tests come with onerous terms and conditions. In any case, when they click, travelers are initially offered much more expensive options.

For example, Aasha Testing is listed as providing £ 19.97 testing, but when the traveler clicks the only listed price is £ 29.

A provider called A1 Covid Testing is the cheapest on the UK government site, at just £ 1. To qualify, the traveler must reserve a slot at the company’s offices north of downtown Norwich.

The first date The independent could find was December 15, the days before that were apparently full.

The supplier says that “Medicap Services Ltd owns and operates this website” – but Companies House says this business was dissolved in 2018.

The next cheapest is a Slough-based company called Hasu Diagnostics, which offers PCR testing for £ 1.49.

But they can only be booked by travelers who, four to six weeks before their due date of their return to the UK, go to the company’s offices to pick up the kit.

The company says, “Proof of travel and a passport are required to purchase the test. “

Third on the government’s list when searching by lowest price is Zoom Tests, which offers a £ 1.95 test – for arriving travelers who can visit the company’s premises in Portishead, to the west. from Bristol.

Paul Charles, managing director of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “Why doesn’t the government learn? Again, it quotes prices for the second day testing that are not reflected by the actual testing providers on their own websites.

“His poor oversight and lack of regulation of this multibillion-pound industry continues to lead people to believe. Fully bitten consumers shouldn’t have to pay more than £ 25 for a two-day antigen test they can do at home. No sending or visiting a laboratory is necessary.

“It is essential to shop around and choose a supplier that is low cost but in good faith. “

At the time of the announcement of the downgrading of PCR tests to lateral flow tests for vaccines, the government said it “will continue to publish a list of private test providers who meet minimum standards from which the public can choose.” .

NHS lateral flow tests cannot be used to meet government requirements for international travel.

Anyone who tests positive on their lateral flow displacement test is then required to take a free NHS PCR to confirm the result.

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