Cap Cost of Covid Tests at £40, Government Told by Tory MPs

Brits are being priced out of holidays abroad due to the hefty costs of PCR tests, which Tory MPs say should be capped at £40 and scrapped altogether for holidaymakers returning to the U.K. from ‘low risk’ countries. The Telegraph has the story.

Senior Conservative MPs are calling on Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, to take immediate action to end “rip-off” prices of PCR tests that still average £75 per person and risk turning foreign holidays into the “preserve only of the wealthy”.

Writing for the Telegraph, Henry Smith, the Tory Chairman of the All-Party Future of Aviation Group said the Government should cap PCR tests at around £40 and scrap them for holidaymakers returning from “low-risk” countries.

“The rationale for the testing regime looks increasingly dubious. Why not, instead, sample a random group of arrivals rather than require everyone to pay for tests frequently run by shoddy companies failing to deliver tests on time and guilty of making hugely misleading price claims?” he wrote.

He was backed by Huw Merriman, Chairman of the Transport Select Committee, who published a letter he has sent to Mr Javid in which he urged the Government to give “serious consideration” to more “affordable” tests and rethink the need for PCR tests for passengers from Green and Amber List countries.

“The high cost, poor quality and lack of sequencing from PCR tests needs to be urgently addressed by the Government. They are an unnecessary barrier to affordable international travel,” he said. …

David Davis, a former Cabinet minister, said it would be “perfectly sensible” to cap test costs to prevent profiteering and axe the 20% VAT charge on PCR tests, which the Government say are necessary to prevent the import of Covid variants. …

Sir Graham Brady, Chairman of the powerful 1922 Conservative backbench committee, said: “Analysis of test results shows fewer positive test results than in the general population. If the Government is mandating so many tests, then it should also require providers to offer them at a reasonable cost.” …

Fewer than one in 50 travellers from Red or Amber countries are testing positive for Covid, while only one in 20 of those positive tests are being genome sequenced for variants because the presence of the virus in the samples is “vanishingly small” after being suppressed by the vaccine.

Worth reading in full.

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