In a bid to cut the hassle and expenses with getting tested while abroad when returning back home, the UK government has been considering providing free testing kits to pack in suitcases so as to aid in smoothing out foreign holidays.
The necessity of PCR tests
Considering the costly to and from testing necessary to travel, this alternative would have secured holidays for those looking to escape on a budget. However, to the dismay of many with plans to travel, Whitehall sources have confirmed that people returning from abroad will have to absolutely prioritize gold-standard PCR testing which could cost a minimum of £65.
On Friday, Boris Johnson is meant to officialize which countries will form part of the green light traffic list that will ensure holidaymakers to travel free of quarantine obligations, followed by the amber and red lists too.
And although the PM has previously promised he would make sure the few travel restrictions still set in place after 17 May would be as flexible and as affordable as possible, health officials have responded more apprehensively.
According to them, PCR testing is the only form of screening that can effectively detect threatening COVID-19 variants that are ravaging certain countries in and out of Europe, undermining the efforts and progress by the vaccine rollout program.
PCR tests increasing the price of traveling
Research conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) found the average minimum cost of gold-standard PCR tests across 16 different countries to be of no less than £65 while the maximum cost was of £150.
Now, the already-bleeding travel industry is concerned this could undermine their efforts to boost sales back up in order to recover from hundreds of thousands of losses over the past year.
This mandatory regulation to have PCR tests as the only officially-recognized form of testing would increase the average one-way airline ticket (estimated to be of about £144) by 45% considering the cheapest PCR test available on the market is £65.