‘Rip off!’ Boris urged to scrap pricey holiday covid tests ‘people getting very rich’

Travel: Simon Calder discusses Covid test pricing

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Speaking from Gibraltar, Simon Calder, travel editor at the Independent told talkRADIO that the cost of coronavirus travel test kits are making some people “very very rich”. He said how in India the tests can cost as little as three pounds a pop as Brits face costs of over one hundred pounds for a test. It comes as the government are facing increasing pressure from travellers to ditch the costly tests. 

The travel reporter said: “If you go to Maharastra state in Mumbai in India they have got a maximum price of six hundred rupees.

“That is six pounds that anybody can charge for a PCR test!”

He explained how: “There are some people getting very, very rich on the government’s travel requirements at the moment.

“They would say that it’s a scarce resource, we are providing a service if you don’t want it then there are plenty of other suppliers.”

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Mr Calder added: “And I have just got an email from SpiceJet my favourite Indian airline.

“They say you don’t want to pay 600 rupees for your test, we will go for 299 (rupees).

“That is three pounds!”

He predicted: “What will happen is that when we find that we don’t need as many PCR tests, suddenly the price will collapse and you will be able to get one for small change.”

Travel: Calder discusses potential green list countries

But he concluded: “At the moment, they are making PCR pay while the sun shines!’

PCR tests for a whole family can set travellers back hundreds of pounds if they wish to go on holiday.

While those travelling from a red list country must quarantine for 10 days at a hotel upon their return at a cost of £1,750.

It comes as international travel was allowed to resume on May 17 as part of the Government’s roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in the UK but to the shock of many Brits’ only 12 countries were deemed safe for recreational travel.


They are countries which have been put on the government’s Green list for travel meaning you do not require a test on arrival or return from holiday.

The traffic light system will be reviewed every three weeks, with four key tests to determine which category a country will fall into:Percentage of the population that has been vaccinated, Rate of infection, Prevalence of variants of concern, Access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.

Green list countries include: Australia, Brunei, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Israel and Jerusalem, New Zealand, Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira) and Singapore amongst other smaller territories.

While Green list country contenders include: Malta, Finland, Grenada, Cayman Islands, Fiji, The British Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos and Anguilla.

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