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Traffic light questions and answers: quarantine, testing and what happens if you get vaccinated

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How to get a Covid test to travel?

The government hopes to provide free take-home rapid lateral flow tests for vacationers to use as pre-departure tests before they return home.

If this cannot be agreed, you will need to purchase a test before departure – either side-flow or the more expensive standard PCR version. But it will have to meet a standard set by the government. Lateral flow tests can cost between £ 5 and £ 50, depending on the quality.

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Upon your return, you will need to use the government approved list of private test providers to order and purchase a PCR test, which costs between £ 100 and £ 150. This will need to be pre-booked prior to your return and confirmed on your passenger locator form.

This sparked backlash from the travel industry and some Conservative MPs, who warned that it would still cost many families too much and only the wealthiest could go on vacation.

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Henry Smith, the conservative chairman of the multi-stakeholder Future of Aviation Group, which represents more than 100 MPs and peers, said: “I remain concerned that this is too cumbersome and expensive for the average passenger.

“It will not give travelers confidence to book vacations from May 17. I think it will seriously infringe on a revival in aviation and travel, certainly for this spring and probably for the summer.”

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However, Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said Sky News that he was seeking to “reduce the costs” of the coronavirus tests needed to resume international travel.


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