British holidaymakers could be paying 20 times more than the ‘fair’ price for PCR Covid tests, a top scientist has claimed.
A price in the region of £20 would be reasonable for the swabs according to Professor Stephen Bustin, a world-renowned expert on PCR at Anglia Ruskin University.
But the most expensive test listed on the Government’s website of approved providers costs £400. On average, British travellers have to fork out £92 per test. Tourists travelling to green list countries and fully vaccinated holidaymakers going to amber list destinations are required to book one PCR test in Britain for when they reenter the country.
Non-vaccinated travellers need two after returning from amber list countries and red list destinations require two regardless of inoculation status. Ministers insist travellers take PCR tests — which can take three days to produce results — because they are more accurate than cheaper lateral flows, which give answers in as little as 20 minutes.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has already asked the Competition and Markets Authority watchdog to investigate potential profiteering among firms providing tests for holidaymakers. Tests can cost up to five times as much as flights, it emerged last night. Ministers are facing increasing pressure to cap how much travellers pay for PCR tests and scrap VAT on them to stop would-be holidaymakers from being priced out of foreign breaks.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) today urged No10 to pay for tests for double-jabbed travellers or replace the PCR requirement with cheaper lateral flow tests.