Covid: Cost of tests ‘is too much for people to travel on holiday’

The government has announced plans to safely reopen international travel, but says it cannot yet confirm whether foreign holidays can resume on 17 May.

A traffic light system will be used to categorise countries based on risk, and travellers will need to pay for tests when departing and returning to the UK.

The plans have been met with widespread frustration by the travel industry. EasyJet says the policy risks rewinding the clock to a time when only wealthy people could afford to travel.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has insisted foreign holidays will be able to resume “safely and sustainably” under the new government rules. It will require passengers to take coronavirus tests before they leave and on their return – even when returning from countries on the low-risk “green” list.

At the moment, almost anyone seeking to travel to England must first take a coronavirus test before departure and then two tests when they arrive, bought through a private provider.

EasyJet’s chief executive Johan Lundgren told the BBC that he did not understand why consumers could not take lateral flow tests, which are cheaper and quicker when these tests are being used in workplaces to help the UK economy reopen.


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