Holidaymakers have spent more than £1bn on PCR tests in bid to travel overseas

By Brett Gibbons

Holidaymakers have splashed out a staggering £1 billion for Covid tests since the UK Government lifted the blockade on overseas travel and foreign holidays.

Research by The PC Agency shows a minimum of five million people aged 12 or above have jetted back into the UK from Europe since May, when holidays were given the green light.

That corresponds to each person travelling to the UK to Europe needing an average 2.3 PCR tests - a total of around 11.5million, according to the data.

Each PCR test is costed at an average of £90, meaning the total paid by passengers - mostly British families travelling for summer holidays - exceeds £1billion.

Travel consultant Paul Charles, founder of The PC Agency, posted on social media: "Research has shown consumers have each taken 2.3 PCR tests on average when heading to/arriving in the #UK since May - meaning the poorly-regulated testing industry has raked in over £1billion already."

The total could also be much higher, because the data does not include those travelling from outside Europe, arriving on ferries or Eurostar.

Paul Charles added: “This £1 billion industry has grown quickly, with no clear oversight or regulation. A whole summer has gone by with consumers being ripped off with tests they don’t need at sky-high prices."

Meanwhile, ministers hope to “reduce costs further” on Covid-19 tests for people wanting to travel, MPs have heard.

Transport minister Robert Courts offered the commitment amid ongoing concerns that people are struggling with the costs and therefore unable to travel to see loved ones.

Travellers requiring tests have complained they have been unable to book tests advertised at the cheapest prices, with some firms offering them for as low as £19.

PCR tests taken at home typically cost around £65 rising to more than £100, with some private clinics charging approximately £200.

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