Cost of NHS Covid tests for UK arrivals reduced

The cost of NHS coronavirus tests for international arrivals to the UK have been reduced, the government has said.

Test and Trace tests have been cut from £88 to £68 for people arriving from green-listed countries and for those coming from amber-listed countries who are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the price of two tests for amber arrivals who have not had both jabs has been cut from £170 to £136. The prices of all providers of day two and eight tests are to be reviewed.

It comes after Health Secretary Sajid Javid asked the competition watchdog to investigate “excessive” pricing and “exploitative practices” among PCR Covid test firms.

He said misleading pricing will be clamped down on and providers failing to meet necessary standards will be removed from the government’s approved list.

NHS Test and Trace advertises its tests alongside private companies’ packages and they are available to purchase to fulfill the government’s testing requirements for international travel. This is the second time the price of NHS tests has been reduced; previously the cost of a day two and eight packages was £210.

Holidaymakers have complained of high prices and poor service from many of the 400-plus firms offering PCR tests and there have been reports that some have not got full accreditation.

According to reports, PCR test prices can range from as little as £20 to more than £500. There have also been complaints from consumers that they have not received test results or have been sent damaged PCR kits.

The government said providers must use laboratories that are either accredited or undergoing accreditation by the independent United Kingdom Accreditation Service and that businesses that fail to meet standards will be removed from its list of approved providers.

The CMA has previously said formal investigations can take a long time, but in this instance, it will provide advice to Mr Javid with a view to taking swift action.

-BBC

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