Cost of Covid Tests for Holidaymakers Still Too High, Says Travel Firm

When overseas travel returns this summer, holidaymakers – including those travelling to countries on the Government’s “green list” – will have to take at least one Covid test. Unfortunately, these don’t come cheap, with the average cost sitting at around £120 per person, per test. This, clearly, is enough to price out many families from holidays abroad. Competition between the companies offering PCR test kits is bringing prices down, but slowly. Randox, a firm based in Northern Ireland, has halved the cost of its kit to £60. Even then, testing costs will still add almost £250 to the holiday bill for a family of four (returning from a “green list” country).

The Chief Operating Officer at Hays Travel says that £60 is still too high and that the Government should step in to help make the cost of testing more manageable. Sky News has the story.

The cost of Covid tests for holidaymakers should be cut to £30 to encourage people to start travelling again, a boss at one of Britain’s biggest travel chains has told Sky News.

Jonathan Woodall, chief operating officer at Hays Travel, said that the current price of up to £200 for PCR tests was too high and will be a “barrier for customers” as restrictions ease next month.

He said the Government should help bring the cost down…

Industry figures including easyJet boss Johan Lundgren have said that the rule [on testing] threatens to price ordinary travellers out of returning to the skies.

Speaking to Sky’s Ian King Live, Mr Woodall said the cost of the tests would “cause a barrier” – especially for families looking at total bills of around £600 for the tests.

“We are hoping that Government will help us get those tests reduced,” he added.

Jonathan Woodall said that Randox’s price reduction was a step in the right direction but that the figure should be lower still.

From our point of view, we would like to see that price to be around £30, we think that would be acceptable…

It’s important that we can get our industry back to some normality, it’s important the customers can start to travel.

Worth reading in full.

Earlier this month, travel industry leaders stressed that it would be better still to scrap testing requirements for those returning from “green list” countries altogether. The Mail had the story.

easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said the testing requirement should be ditched because if countries have cases under control and have extensive vaccination programmes then “green is green”. 

He said paying for laboratory-based PCR tests would cost “way over and above what the cost is of an average easyJet fare” which would result in only opening up international travel “for people who can afford it”.

He said that would not be “fair” or “right” as he also questioned whether the approach was backed up by science.

Also worth reading in full.

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