The Leader podcast: How those holiday Covid PCR Tests became a £1bn rip-off

By Rachelle Abbott

Lab test

(Picture: PA Archive)

The Evening Standard’s revealed holidaymakers paid out more than £1 billion for compulsory Covid tests this summer from an industry being investigated for a “laundry list” of bad practices.

It follows research by travel expert Paul Charles, of the PC Agency, who joins the podcast to explain how the testing sector has exploded in just a few months, and remains almost unregulated, allowing "cowboy operators" to infiltrate it.

He says the government needs to intervene as travel operators say the eyewatering costs of the tests, along with the hassle of doing them, is causing people to be put off taking flights, making the sector’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic even harder.

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