The UK has recently reduced the cost of Covid-19 tests for international students from countries on the amber list. While all arriving passengers had to pay 88 pounds per test, travellers from India will now have to pay 68 pounds (USD 94).
If passengers returning from Green list or Amber list countries like India are fully vaccinated, they will be required to pay 20 pounds (USD 27) less per Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. The PCR test has to be taken on or before the second day after the traveller arrives in England.
For passengers arriving from Amber list destinations, even if they are not fully vaccinated, the price of the two tests would fall from 170 pounds to 136 pounds (USD 235 to USD 188).
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) confirmed that the reduction in price does not affect arrivals from Red list countries or a test purchased from a private provider.
The National Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace provide Coronavirus tests for international travel. However, these tests are paid for, unlike normal lateral flow tests (LFT) or PCR for individuals with symptoms.
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said that there will be a “rapid internal review” of prices government-approved companies offer. This comes after claims that holidaymakers are being exploited over private testing.
“I’ve ordered my department to urgently review the list of private providers on gov.uk to ensure pricing is clearer and transparent,” the minister was quoted as saying.
“Any provider found to be misleading the public will be kicked off. Too many providers are acting like cowboys and that needs to stop. The public should be allowed to enjoy their summer holidays without having to face excessive costs or anxiety,” he added.
To look into possible discrepancies in testing prices, Javid has also commissioned a wider review by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
India was recently moved to the Amber List from the Red List travel ban, allowing travellers coming to the UK to self-isolate at their address instead of only at a government-mandated hotel at extra costs.