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<p>Amazon’s new postal test kit</p>

Amazon’s new postal test kit

Amazon launches new £35 PCR travel test

The online shopping behemoth’s kit is one of the cheapest on the market

Lucy Thackray
Tuesday 14 December 2021 13:37
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Online retail giant Amazon has launched a new PCR travel test, along side a “general testing kit” meant for domestic use.

At £34.99, the all-purpose retailer’s test kit is one of the cheapest on the market, with similar budget prices available from the likes of Randox or Tui - but only with a “click and collect” discount for picking up the former, and a customer discount from the latter.

The RT-PCR kits are processed by Amazon’s in-house laboratory, which has been used for testing frontline workers and Amazon employees for months.

It’s big news for British holidaymakers, who have been facing PCR testing costs of £45-150 - depending on the location of the test and the speed of results - since they were made compulsory for all UK arrivals once more at the end of November.

Amazon claims that results will be sent “within 24 hours of your sample reaching the laboratory”, with Royal Mail priority shipping the method for sending your kit back.

You can choose between a day two test, a day two and eight test combination, or a day two, day five and day eight test combined.

But travellers are advised to be vigilant in ensuring they are ordering the right kind of test.

Amazon is launching two types of test kit for the general public to buy - the one that travellers want is the “International Arrivals service” kit, which Amazon says “fulfils government entry testing requirements and can be used for travel into the UK”.

For the General Testing PCR kit, the product description small print says: “This test does not fulfil arrivals entry testing requirements into the UK. A booking reference code is not included.”

This means that the test kit wouldn’t meet government standards for a day two or day eight test.

“Widespread access to reliable and affordable Covid-19 testing remains a critical tool in the fight against the spread of the virus,” said Antoine Dreyfus, the Amazon director in charge of the company’s Covid testing work in the UK.

“The Amazon test collection kit offers customers the convenience they’ve come to expect from Amazon.co.uk by providing access to highly accurate Covid-19 testing, at an affordable price."

The cost of PCR tests has been a major bone of contention for holidaymakers and the travel industry alike, with the switch back to PCR tests from lateral flow tests for fully vaccinated arrivals adding hundreds of pounds to the average family’s holiday cost.

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