Travel: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 11th January 2022.

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Photo of Justin Madders Justin Madders Shadow Minister (Future of Work), Shadow Minister (Business and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of taking steps to (a) reduce and (b) waive the costs of covid-19 tests for UK citizens returning to the UK.

Photo of Maggie Throup Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We have no plans to provide free tests for international travel. Free National Health Service tests cannot be used for travel in order to preserve domestic testing capacity.

We are committed to working with private testing providers to reduce the cost of testing. Since international travel testing requirements were introduced, the average cost of a day two polymerase chain reaction test has decreased to £45 and tests are regularly available from approximately £20. For United Kingdom residents or individuals with residency rights who would suffer severe financial hardship by paying the full cost of their testing fees before they travel, hardship arrangements may be available.

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