Half term holidays at risk unless government confirm PCR test scrap date, experts warn

THE scrapping of the holiday PCR tests needs to be confirmed now otherwise families risk missing out on half term holidays abroad, airports have warned.

The government announced earlier this month that the expensive PCR tests needed to be taken on day two after a holiday will be replaced by the cheaper lateral flows.

However, despite them claiming it would be in time for the half term school break, they are yet to confirm an official date for the scrapping of the PCR tests.

"Passengers need a date when PCR test requirements will be dropped in order to give them certainty and confidence to book flights for the half-term break," a spokesperson for Gatwick Airport said.

A TUI spokesperson added to the i: “October half-term is just two weeks away and families want to plan for their much-needed holidays with surety and clarity.

“We urgently need the UK Government to confirm when the changes to testing will come into force.”

Currently, a family of four returning from a holiday abroad would need to each have a day two test, each costing on average between £70 and £100.

This means a trip abroad is up to £400 more expensive due to the strict testing rules.

Lateral flow tests are much cheaper, costing around £30 per person.

And the government confirmed that passengers will be able to take pictures of their lateral flow test results to prove they haven't caught Covid.

Pre-arrival Covid tests have already been scrapped for vaxxed Brits returning to the UK.

The UK has already lifted a number of travel restrictions in recent days, including the complicated traffic light system.

The green and amber lists have been scrapped, with the remaining red list – banning travel and requiring a 10-day hotel quarantine costing £2,285 per person – has been massively reduced, consisting of just seven countries.

The Foreign Office has since lifted the travel warning against all of the 'open' countries, meaning holidays to long-haul destinations which were formerly on the red list including Mexico, Thailand and the Maldives can now go ahead.


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