Where can I get a cheap covid test to travel?

Holiday companies are offering cheap Covid test packages to make travel more affordable. We take a look at what you need to know.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

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With passengers having to take Covid tests before leaving the UK and on their return, travel might prove expensive. Airlines, airports and holiday companies have already started offering cheap Covid test packages to make holidays more affordable. We take a look at what you need to know.

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Tui announces cheap Covid tests for package holiday customers

With international travel set to resume on 17 May 2021, Tui has announced that it’ll subsidise Covid testing costs for customers who book their package holidays.

Other holiday companies like EasyJet, Jet2 and British Airways are already offering cheap Covid test packages. However, Tui is offering test packages for between £20 and £90 per person. These may be the lowest rates so far.

Other firms are offering testing packages for between £60 and £210 per person. By choosing Tui, you could save up to £120 per head. Tui has also mentioned that it’ll include free Covid travel insurance on all holidays.

The exact amount you pay and the type of Covid test required (lateral flow or PCR) will vary depending on whether you are travelling to a green or amber list country and the test requirements of that country.

What if my Covid test doesn’t come back in time?

In April, hundreds of people reported having booked private Covid tests from government-approved firms. However, they were either delivered late or not at all – even after paying for them. These private firms apologised, stating that they didn’t expect such a high number of people to use their services.

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To ensure this doesn’t happen again, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) requires private test providers to meet various standards before they’re listed on the gov.uk website. The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) has also assessed these standards to guarantee competence and integrity.

Holiday companies have also put measures in place to help their customers. First, they have partnered with government-authorised test providers who have met the DHSC’s minimum required standards. Second, they are allowing free amendments to departure dates and even refunding money paid for extra tests.

This covers passengers in incidences where there is a delay in getting test results. It also covers additional costs incurred if the country passengers are travelling to is moved from ‘green’ to ‘amber’ while they’re there.

What should I consider before travelling?

Travelling to countries on the green list is safest and the Covid tests required are cheapest. However, it will be important to check whether these countries are accepting visitors from the UK before you travel.

If they are, find out what kind of Covid tests you need to take before entry. Also, consider whether visiting a country on the green list may require you to pass through an amber list or red list country.

You can then choose a travel company based on the type and cost of Covid tests required, whether your booking can be amended free of charge, whether a refund is possible and whether you get free Covid travel insurance.

It might be wise to avoid making hasty decisions. Take your time to understand the requirements before you make travel arrangements.

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