PCR test for travel fall to under £45, says Grant Shapps

Price of PCR tests for travel falls to under £45, says minister

Grant Shapps ‘very anxious’ to get the cost of PCR tests down

Helen Coffey@LenniCoffey
Friday 30 April 2021 15:11
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Some PCR Covid tests for travel have fallen in price to under £45, according to the transport secretary.

Addressing parliament on 29 April, Grant Shapps said that he was “very anxious” to get the cost of PCR tests down.

“I can bring some good news to the house,” he said. “There are now test providers providing tests for £60, and indeed one now for £44.90.”

He did not mention which provider was offering this price, but The Independent’s research suggests it is Eurofins Covid Testing Services Ltd (ECTS).

The Travel Network Group, which counts more than 900 independent travel agents among its members, recently announced it had made a deal with ECTS so that customers who booked through member agents could secure a PCR test for £44.90.

Testing kits are delivered by Royal Mail Special Delivery to customers’ homes, with prepaid postage back to the laboratory included.

“When the government announced the traffic light system, we identified the cost of testing as a major barrier to travel for many people,” said Gary Lewis, chief executive of The Travel Network Group.

“The government has provided a list of over 400 companies that can provide general testing or test-to-release for international travel.

“Providers include pharmacies, private GP surgeries and aesthetic clinicians, who can all offer accredited testing but with no indication of cost to the consumer.”

Mr Lewis said that by securing a discounted rate, TNG hoped to “take away the stress from our members” so that they could recommend an affordable solution to holidaymakers.

Several airlines have also partnered with testing providers to offer cheaper rates for passengers.

Ryanair recently announced it was teaming up with Randox to offer PCR tests for £60; BA has partnered with Qured to offer rapid antigen test kits for £33; Wizz Air customers can buy a Confirm Testing PCR test kit for £85; and easyJet passengers can book a Confirm test for £75, or an in-clinic City Doc test for £150.

The average price of a price PCR test in the UK is currently £120. Which? Travel calculated that PCR testing could add on £1,480 to the cost of a holiday to Greece for a family of four.

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