Covid test: Randox cuts price of PCR tests for people going on holidays abroad

Playa de los Cristianos in Tenerife, Spain. Credit: PA

A coronavirus testing firm has halved the price of its PCR tests for travellers returning to the UK from abroad.

Randox, which charged around £120 for the Covid tests, announced it would cut prices to £60 for passengers flying with partner airlines.

The partner airlines have not yet been confirmed, but it is understood they will be major airlines and the discount will be available before summer.

The plans come after the government announced last week that travellers arriving in the UK from any country must take PCR tests.

The travel industry expressed concerns that the testing requirements would make foreign holidays unaffordable for many people. Many firms wanted people arriving from low-risk countries to be able to take rapid lateral flow tests, which are cheaper and gives results within 30 minutes.

Passengers waiting to be tested at London's Heathrow Airport after arriving into the UK.

Meanwhile, results from PCR tests can take several days as swabs need to be processed in a laboratory.

Randox managing director Dr Peter FitzGerald said: “In recognition of the needs of both the travel industry and the British public at this unprecedented time, Randox will reduce the all-inclusive cost of PCR testing for those in the UK undertaking international travel to £60 per test.

“We can see the pressures faced by both the travel industry and the general public and are committed to effective and economical testing to support holidaymakers and those undertaking international travel.”

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Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy the PC Agency, said reducing the price of testing is “the magic wand to recovery in the travel sector”.

He went on: “More providers need to encourage people back to travel with lower per person costs so as to stimulate the market.”

Mr Charles also urged the Government to abolish VAT on tests “so that the sector can benefit from every measure possible”.

Covid testing firm halves price of PCR tests for holidaymakers

He added: “Border policies have crushed the travel sector and it now needs full support to get back on its feet.”

As of April 12, holidaymakers in England are allowed to book a domestic trip, but only accommodation that does not involve indoor facilities can operate. There are similar rules in place in Wales.

Under Boris Johnson's original roadmap out of lockdown for England, the earliest date holidays abroad can resume is May 17.