PCR Covid tests to be scrapped ‘before half-term’ - which could save families £200 on holidays
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said ministers hope to announce in the next few days the switch from a PCR to a lateral flow test for eligible fully-vaccinated travellers taking their day-two Covid test.
The Government has previously said it is aiming for this switch to come into place to coincide with people returning from half-term breaks at the end of October.
It’s estimated that the cost of a family holiday will fall by about £200 after it was announced that PCR tests are to be scrapped for those required to take a day-two test on arrival back in the country.
Mr Shapps told Sky News on Friday (8 October): “We want to get this done for half term for people.”
He added: “We anticipate having it ready for the half term, and what a difference it will make for people.”
He also said the process with lateral flows rather than PCR tests will be “much much easier, much less expensive as well”.
When he was asked when an announcement could be expected, he said: “In the coming days”.
How will lateral flow testing for travellers work?
Those arriving in the UK who take a lateral flow test to check their Covid status will have to take a photograph of it to prove the result.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told BBC Breakfast said: “If it’s positive, you’ll automatically receive a PCR test, you’ll be in the NHS system, as with the normal Test and Trace, so you’ll get the PCR without having to do anything further, and of course, be asked to isolate.
“If it’s negative, that’s it, you’re free to go, and the good thing is that can either be done, as I say, as soon as coming through the gates, potentially, at some airports where they might offer that, or you may have ordered a test to be at your home.
“You carry out that test, we’re going to ask people to take a photograph of it so that it’s actually your test. And that’s it, the job is done, there’s nothing further to do. So it’s going to be a much simplified, much cheaper system.”