The health secretary has confirmed that expensive PCR tests for holidays are likely to end “very soon”.
Sajid Javid confirmed the changes during the winter COVID plan this afternoon, when asked about the frequent calls to cancel the two PCR tests required for the holidays.
He confirmed during a statement to the House of Commons that changes were likely to be made “very soon” regarding holiday Covid tests and said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps would announce them himself.
Vaccines Minister Nadim Zhawi told LBC that “if any testing is unnecessary we will eliminate it,” adding that the government does not want to test “just for the cost people.”
He explained: “If we didn’t need a test, we wouldn’t have that test. PCR tests helped us when we didn’t have a successful vaccination program.
“As we have now largely double immunized […] We will not have tests that are unnecessary, we will get rid of them.”
PCR tests were originally introduced for the holidays as they were used to sequence variants, tracking any strains that were at risk for UK vaccine rollout.
Sajid Javid said he wants to get rid of PCR tests for personal travel “as soon as possible,” telling Sky News last week: “I’m not going to make that decision right now.
“But I have already told the authorities that the moment we can, let’s get rid of this type of intrusion.
“The costs that arise for families, especially families who are just trying to go out and vacation, you know, we shouldn’t put anything that’s absolutely necessary.”
Instead, Brits will be able to conduct lateral flow tests, which are much cheaper than the PCR tests currently required.
According to TimeThe Transportation Department is to review travel restrictions on October 1, with hopes that some rules could be rolled out in time for the half-term and the Christmas holidays.
Not only will this save families hundreds of pounds, but it will also take away additional stress, as many PCR results do not come in on time.
A recent study found that a family would pay an average of £300 extra for their COVID tests when they went on holiday, urging the government to crack down on “cowboy” COVID testing providers.
Mr Javid also warned that test providers advertising false prices would face fines of up to £10,000.
He said yesterday: “It is completely unacceptable for any private testing company to take advantage of vacationers and we are taking action to crack down on cowboy behaviour.
“From 21 September, to ensure that travel testing providers are performing to a high legitimate standard, there will be strict new penalties for companies that fail to comply with the law, including a fixed fine of up to £10,000. Is.”
Granthshala Travel editor Lisa Minot has also called for an end to expensive PCR tests, after a recent study found no high priority or very high priority COVID-19 variant among more than 1.19 million people tested in England .
Tour operator On the Beach became the first to offer free COVID testing for travelers, covering the cost for Brits traveling to Greece, Spain or Cyprus.
The complex traffic light system may also be scrapped next month, leaving only the red list, while the green and amber lists will no longer exist.
The next travel update is expected this week, with 24 countries expected to be removed from the red list.