The cost of Covid travel test packages has increased by nearly 50 per cent ahead of the summer holidays, according to reports.
Analysis by the Daily Mail of the 50 cheapest suppliers on the Government website found that the average price for a two-swab kit has risen from £45 to £63 over a fortnight.
And this is just the advertised cost.
When users leave the Government’s website and click through to the the firms’ pages, the prices can skyrocket for other options.
Some tests are also only available on-site at one or two locations, which could mean travelling hundreds of miles – not a viable option for many would-be holidaymakers.
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Avi Lasarow, boss of testing firm Project Screen by Prenetics, told the paper that the Government “needs to do more enforce higher standards of companies who go on their official list”.
He said companies “know once people get to their website, they’ll probably stay and pay more for the tests”.
Current rules state that unjabbed people landing in England from amber countries must take a test before travel and book tests for days two and eight of a ten-day quarantine on arrival.
July 19 saw the regulations change for vaccinated travellers, who now only have to do one test after arrival and don’t have to quarantine – although they must still do a test before they return.
But the rules still remain unclear for some – France’s addition to the ‘amber-plus’ list on Friday causing panic among tourists.
The last-minute announcement that fully vaccinated travellers returning to England from the country will continue to have to quarantine from Monday has caused “mass confusion”, a travel expert has said.
Gemma Antrobus, of the Association of Independent Tour Operators, said the travel industry had not expected the step taken by the Government on Friday evening amid concern over the spread of the Beta coronavirus variant in France.
She told BBC Breakfast on Saturday: “This new level of traffic light, this fifth traffic light that we now have – amber-plus – wasn’t something that’s ever been mentioned, so nobody expected this to come.
“So really the travel industry are in as much shock as the consumers are right now, and really we would just have to pick up the pieces and deal with it and help our clients through this pretty terrible situation.”
And it has now been reported that Spain could join France in being added to the ‘amber plus’ list.
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Spain has recorded 162 cases of the Beta variant in the week up to July 1st, which is 8.8 per cent of sequenced cases reported by GISAID organisation, which monitors variants of concern.
Travel commentator Paul Charles told The Sun : “We’re seeing quarantine introduced by stealth again, as countries are picked off one by one, as they were last summer.
“We seem to have made little progress in terms of creating a long term solution to help consumers travel overseas, especially if they’ve been double jabbered.
“Any quarantine moves such as against Spain would have a major impact on livelihoods and jobs in the travel sector, and cause enormous financial distress to consumers.”