Price of NHS holiday Covid tests slashed by £20 in clamp down on cowboy labs08/13/2021
THE price of holiday Covid tests provided by the NHS have been slashed by £20 as ministers try to clamp down on cowboy labs.
Health officials have cut the cost from £88 to £68.
And the charge for two has been lowered from £170 to £136.
Ministers hope that the price drop will help nudge the market, sparking a race to match the NHS cost — but critics say the efforts fall way short of helping typical families.
Some PCR tests advertised on the Government-approved list can be as much as £400 — with the average about £75.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has ordered an immediate review into the cost.
He also ordered an investigation into misleading sellers online.
Many have advertised tests for as little as £20 — only for them to be “sold out”, with much more expensive tests available instead.
His review will last ten days and dodgy testing companies who do not sort out their practices by then will be booted off the official list. Mr Javid said:
“I know how much people have looked forward to their summer holidays and that the cost of PCR testing can be a barrier to that.
“That is why I am determined to protect consumers and hardworking families from exploitative practices and ensure high quality tests are available at a reasonable price.
“I’ve also ordered my department to urgently review the list of private providers on gov.uk to ensure pricing is clearer and transparent. Any provider found to be misleading the public will be kicked off.
“Too many providers are acting like cowboys and that needs to stop.”
But Paul Charles, head of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “Even with the changes, test costs are still far too high to restore confidence to travel, and also far higher than most European countries.
He added: “It’s the policy that urgently needs reviewing, not just pricing.”
One test provider called for an end to VAT on tests. Avi Lasarow, of
Prenetics said: “It would be an extra positive step for passengers”
Meanwhile, another 32,700 Covid cases were recorded in the latest daily figures, with 100 deaths.
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