Reduced testing costs for UK travellers

UK holidaymakers will benefit from cheaper travel testing packages, with the price of some tests to fall by a fifth from today.

The cost of NHS Test and Trace tests for international arrivals will now be reduced from £88 to £68 for green or fully vaccinated amber arrivals, and from £170 to £136 for two tests for amber arrivals who are not fully vaccinated.

The Health Secretary has also announced there will be a rapid internal review of the pricing and service standards of all providers of day 2 and 8 tests. Any misleading pricing will be clamped down on swiftly and we will urgently remove listings found to have misleading prices. The review will start this weekend and last 10 days, and providers failing to meet necessary standards will be urgently removed.

The price of travel testing has fallen significantly. This is the second time pricing of NHS tests has been reduced, following a review in May which reduced the cost of a day 2 and 8 package from £210 to £170.

NHS Test and Trace advertises these tests alongside private companies’ testing packages and they are available to purchase to fulfil the UK government’s testing requirements for international travel.

The Health and Social Care Secretary has also commissioned a rapid review of the private testing providers list on gov.uk to ensure the prices advertised align with what is genuinely available.

This follows a request on Friday 6 August from the Health and Social Care Secretary for an urgent high-level review from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to address exploitative behaviour in the private testing market and crack down on excessive pricing or misleading claims. While the CMA carries out this review it will provide ongoing support to DHSC.

PCR testing remains completely free for people with symptoms of COVID-19, and – from 16 August – for people who are double jabbed or under 18 and have been identified as a close contact of someone with the virus.

People can continue to book free PCR tests, or order home PCR tests online or by calling 119, but as has always been the case, all tests used for travel must be purchased.

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