Closed petition Provide free PCR tests for international travel and return to the UK

I would like to ask the much-respected UK government to support the residents of the UK and its guests and provide free PCR tests for those who fly in or out of the UK, ensuring that these tests meet domestic and international standards required.

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The travel industry is going through a rough time with the coronavirus pandemic. It is very important that the UK government does its utmost to support this industry as we are seeing massive cuts in flights, wages and layoffs in the hospitality and airline business. The high cost of tests, as well as their difficulty in obtaining, discourages people from flying. We believe that the price of receiving a PCR tests in the UK, which can be over £100, is excessive, even compared to other countries.

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Other parliamentary business

MPs question the Government on international travel rules

On Monday 20 September, MPs questioned the Government on international travel, following a statement by the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps MP on the Government's rules for international travel, including Covid-19 testing requirements.

Read the Secretary of State's statement, and question from MPs: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-09-20/debates/42EC0566-BBD2-4620-8E7E-3F2C95E7CB5A/InternationalTravel

In his statement the Minister confirmed that the Government was removing the requirement for fully vaccinated passengers to take a pre-departure test if not travelling from a red list country, and later in October, would be moving away from day 2 PCR testing to a new system of lateral flow tests for fully vaccinated passengers.

Find out more about the changes to international travel rules: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-system-for-international-travel

What are ministerial statements?

Ministerial statements are a way for Ministers to bring an important matter to the attention of the House, often at short notice. After making a statement the Minister responds to questions on its topic from MPs.

International travel must not be singled out in future pandemic restrictions, urge MPs

MPs on the Transport Committee have published a report on supporting recovery in the UK aviation sector.

Read the summary: https://ukparliament.shorthandstories.com/aviation-recovery-pandemic-transport-report/index.html

Read the full report: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5802/cmselect/cmtrans/683/report.html

In the report, the Committee called for the Government to future-proof the aviation sector against future pandemics, noting that the 15 changes to air travel restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic left travellers struggling to navigate a confusing ‘traffic light’ system, access affordable testing and secure refunds.

The Committee also called on the Government to:

  • build international travel into its future pandemic resilience planning
  • publish an aviation recovery plan by 1 June 2022
  • ensure any future air travel restrictions are evidenced with transparent data and proportionate to restrictions placed on other UK business sectors

What happens next?

The Government now must respond to the Committee's report, which was published on 25 April 2022, within two months. The Committee will publish the Government’s response here: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/153/transport-committee/publications/

What is the Transport Committee? 

The Transport Committee is a cross-party group of MPs that look into the work of the Department for Transport. 

Find out more about the Committee: 
https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/153/transport-committee 

Follow the Committee on Twitter for updates on its work: https://twitter.com/CommonsTrans 

The Transport Committee is a select committee. Find out how select committees work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c 

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