Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Petition Lower the price of the £210 COVID Home Test Kits for travellers entering the UK

Lowering its cost to a reasonable price. PCR tests are available for free via the NHS. While there must be a fee to discourage some to travel, others do not have any choices but to come back to the UK for various reasons and adding a £210 home test kit to their budget may have dramatic consequences.

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£210 is a huge amount of money. The pandemic is affecting everyone financially, amongst other things.
Some people have to travel for their work, studies, or even for medical reasons. This new measure is really discriminating individuals who do not have the choice but to travel back to the UK.

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Government responded

This response was given on 1 April 2021

COVID-19 tests are a vital part of the national arsenal to protect travellers and the UK public. Only essential travel should be undertaken, and test costs should be included in travellers’ plans.

NHS T&T tests are free for people who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who are clinically advised to take a COVID-19 test.

Only essential travel should be being undertaken during the pandemic to protect the public. It is, therefore, right that people who undertake travel, and who are already paying for this, should also pay the costs of their Covid-19 tests. Throughout the pandemic, the government has put in place proportionate measures, informed by the advice of scientists, which has led to this successful vaccination programme.

All international arrivals need to buy the travel testing package through the testing booking portal or through hotel quarantine before they travel to the UK. For all arrivals quarantining at home the testing package (2 covid tests) is £210 if they purchase their tests from NHS T&T.

However, we recently introduced private sector testing of travellers partly to safeguard NHS capacity and to offer a wider choice for international arrivals who need to purchase private tests. The prices and service offered by these approved providers vary.

The government keeps all our measures under constant review, and they will remain in place as long as is required in order to protect public health and reduce transmission of the virus and to reduce the risk of new variants.

Department of Health and Social Care

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