Holiday boost: Costly PCR Covid tests 'to be scrapped for double jabbed'

12 September 2021, 08:42 | Updated: 12 September 2021, 08:44

PCR tests could be dropped for tourists
PCR tests could be dropped for tourists. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Fully vaccinated tourists will no longer need to take costly PCR Covid tests after returning from holiday, according to a report.

Government officials are working up plans to end the requirement for double-jabbed Brits to take a test when they come back from green or amber list countries.

It comes as the travel industry continues to ask for help, having been battered by lockdowns and tourism restrictions.

The Mail on Sunday said tests will not be required for Brits before they fly back to the UK, and PCR tests, which are required on the second day after arrival, will be replaced by cheaper lateral flow tests.

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Fully vaccinated people – those who have had two weeks since their second jab – can already return from amber list countries without quarantining.

But plans to overhaul testing will provide further incentive for travel, with the cost of getting tested considered to be an obstacle for some.

Tourists could save hundreds of pounds if the changes are introduced – with Boris Johnson due to discuss the idea with the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, health secretary Sajid Javid and Michael Gove, the cabinet office minister, this week.

Paul Charles, boss of The PC Agency travel firm, told the Mail on Sunday: "This would be a significant vote-winner with consumers and the industry. It’s exactly what we’ve been calling for because these tests have been expensive and too confusing.

"It's a significant move that would boost confidence and help the travel sector recover substantially."

Meanwhile, Mr Javid has warned "cowboy" holiday test providers face fines of £10,000.

The new penalty comes in from September 21, and follows the Competition and Markets Authority's warning of a "race for the bottom" between testing companies.

It asked the Government to introduce a better list of approved test providers "by significantly improving the basic standards to qualify for inclusion and remaining on the gov.uk list".