Travel: Simon Calder discusses taking PCR tests

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Most Britons think the cost of Covid tests is around £78, but many tests are actually more expensive, according to new research by Capital One. Tests are not the only thing to check before jetting off overseas these days. Still, only 33 percent of holidaymakers have checked what additional documentation they need to travel.

 

Seventy-two percent of holidaymakers said they had not budgeted enough for testing, with a shocking 27 percent setting aside less than £50 per person.

The average cost of pre-departure Covid testing is not £78, but £118.

This brings into focus how important it is to research the latest requirements for overseas travel well in advance.

The cost of pre-departure testing fluctuates, but it’s always the case rapid testing will cost more, £171 on average.

READ MORE: Holiday boost as CMA probe could slash costs of testing

At one airport, the cost varied by as much as 58 percent depending on timing, from £60 for 48 hours before flying to £95 if done three hours before.

Around 11.6 million people (22 percent) are planning to go on holiday this year, and if they all underbudget, this could mean a shortfall of £465million. 

Katy Lomax, Chief Experience Officer at Capital One UK said: “There is so much pent-up demand for holidays, and many will be excited to go away for the first time since the pandemic hit.”

However, the excitement to finally be able to travel should not stop holidaymakers from doing their homework.

Katy said: “There is a lot to consider when traveling abroad now, especially around testing, so it’s important to find out what you need to do to travel safely and without unnecessary delay.”

Britons seem to have wholeheartedly embraced the reopening of international borders and are jumping feet first into an overseas holiday.

But have they actually checked what they need?

Only 40 percent of people going on holiday have found out how many Covid tests they need to take.

Thirty-three percent checked what additional documentation they will need to be able to travel.

Twenty-eight percent budgeted for the cost of Covid tests, and 24 percent found out where they could get their tests done.

Not being prepared, however, can be expensive.

Relying on high street providers will make testing cost even higher than they already are, while leaving things to the last minute will also add to the cost.

Katy concluded: “Our research shows that where you get a test and how far in advance you book it can have a huge impact on the price, so it’s definitely cost effective to be organised.”
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