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Covid tests for travellers will be cheaper from October 24

People going on holiday during the pandemic have had more than the usual costs of the hotel and flights to take into account.

The price of PCR coronavirus tests have been prohibitive too, with the cheapest available starting around £40 but some more than £100 per person.

Now, the government has given more details of how the process for returning to England will be made simpler.

Everyone returning from abroad will still have to take a Covid test on or by their second day back in the country.

But fully vaccinated people arriving from countries not on the red list will be able to take a cheaper and quicker lateral flow test rather than the PCR version from October 24.

The change to the post-arrival day two test will come into effect ready for those returning from half-term breaks.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use one of the free lateral flow tests you might have hanging around that you picked up from a chemist.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘Today’s rule changes will make testing on arrival simpler and cheaper for people across the country who are looking forward to well-earned breaks for this October half-term.

‘Taking away expensive mandatory PCR testing will boost the travel industry and is a major step forward in normalising international travel and encouraging people to book holidays with confidence.’

Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: ‘It’s progress but if you’re fully jabbed you shouldn’t need to take a test at all.

‘Testing measures are not only a faff for many but also amount to a tax on travel and put off people from booking with confidence, due to the higher costs.

‘These barriers certainly won’t help the travel sector to recover as quickly as it should be by now.

‘In addition, I don’t have to be tested if I return from a packed football stadium so why should I have to take a test returning from a business meeting or villa holiday?’

It comes as the government said a further 157 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of today, bringing the UK total to 138,237.

There had been a further 45,066 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK – the highest daily figure since July.

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