Holidaymakers are reportedly to be given Covid screening packs to use while abroad. The fast-turnaround pre-return tests will be made available free of charge to those travelling abroad to help restart international travel.
However people returning from abroad will still have to pay for a PCR test when they arrive back in the UK, at a cost of at least £50 each.
Concerns are high that the cost of PCR test could prove prohibitive for many hoping to get take a summer holiday.
Health Chiefs are insisting on the requirement for all travellers to take a PCR test after returning home, as this is the only test able to detect ‘variants of concern’ which could undermine the vaccine programme.
Research by industry body the International Air Transport Association found the average minimum cost of a ‘gold standard’ PCR test across 16 countries was £65. Meanwhile the average maximum cost was £150.
The body wanted that one £65 PCR test alone would hike the cost of the average £144 one-way airline ticket by 45%.