Families face extra £1,680 for a holiday to Europe due to mandatory Covid tests03/29/2021
FAMILIES planning a holiday to Europe face paying as much as £1,680 extra to follow Covid testing rules.
The current restrictions require all Brits returning to the UK to have three negative tests when returning to the UK.
One of these must be taken before arriving, while the others must be taken on day 2 and day 8 of the mandatory 10-day quarantine.
However, countries such as France, Spain and Greece all require certain tests on arrival too, meaning some families face having to book as many as five tests each to go on holiday.
According to Which?, a trip to France will set you back the most of £420 per person, working out to £1,680 for a family-of-four.
The following tests are needed, with the average costs per test when in France and in the UK:
- PCR test to enter France – £120
- Antigen test on arrival – £50 (€54)
- Rapid antigen before entering the UK – £60
- Two tests during UK quarantine – £190
Greece would cost £370 per person – with the antigen test free when in the country – while Spain would cost £330 per person as the country accepts LAMP tests which are cheaper.
Italy would be the cheapest option of £310, requiring just a £60 antigen test before arriving, with a free test on arrival.
Holidays cannot go ahead yet – the government's Global Travel Taskforce will announce next month when they will restart – and it isn't clear if the restrictions will remain in place when trips abroad can resume.
Some countries may also allow kids under a certain age to avoid the test restrictions, as they are not able to get the vaccine.
The earliest date holidays abroad can go ahead will be from May 17 although experts have warned a trip abroad may be off the cards until August, due to the third wave in Europe causing a rise in Covid cases.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock also refused to rule out international travel for the summer – he told This Morning: "There may well be [international holidays this summer], I wouldn’t rule that out.
"The door is not shut, it’s just too early to say. But what we can say with confidence, is that the unlocking at home is on track."
A number of countries in the EU are pushing for vaccine passports to allow Brits to visit without restrictions.
Greece, Spain and Cyprus have backed vaccine passports, along with Portugal, while Turkey will welcome Brits without restrictions or vaccine passports.
Another way holidays could return for the summer is through a traffic light system, depending on the risk situation in each country.
Arrivals from green countries would require hardly any restrictions for travellers apart from a 15-minute lateral flow test – likely taken when arriving in the UK.
Amber nations will likely require negative PCR tests before travel and some form of quarantine, as well as a lateral flow test on arrival – but hotel quarantine will continue for all red list nations.
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