UK travellers may be given free Covid tests for travel abroad

The tests will be administered before holidaymakers take their flight back to the UK.

British holidaymakers may be given coronavirus tests free of charge under new plans to make travel safer.

According to sources cited in the Daily Mail, fast-turnaround tests will be made available for free in order to eliminate the hassle of obtaining one abroad.

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The idea is that people will take the tests prior to their flight home, before taking another in the UK.

International travel will be allowed from May 17 under limited circumstances.

People returning home, however, will reportedly still have to pay £50 for a PCR test.

The news comes ahead of Prime Minister Boris Johnson providing an update on international travel later this week, on May 7.

Under current lockdown plans, international travel will be permitted to re-start from May 17, though a number of restrictions will continue to apply.

It’s expected that the Prime Minister will confirm the resumption of international travel, though holidays will be subject to a “traffic light” system for each country which determines whether or not quarantine will be required on return.

Any countries labelled “green” will allow people to travel between there and the UK without the requirement of self-isolation on return - though testing will still be required at both ends.

Very few countries are likely to be added to the green list, with addition depending on coronavirus levels at the destination.

The Prime Minister said last month: “I do want to see international travel start up again.”

Mr Johnson said he was determined to “make things as flexible and as affordable as possible”.

Some concerns have been raised over the affordability of such testing regimes for travel, with International Air Transport Association research finding that the cost of a so-called “gold standard” PCR test across 16 countries was £65 while the average maximum cost was £150.

Though travellers will be given a free test to take away with them under new plans, they’ll still have to pay £50 for a “gold standard” test in the UK on return, with the travel industry fearing this may further damage the industry by keeping people from travel abroad.