Boots, easyJet, Ryanair, Jet2, TUI: PCR test is “unlikely” to deter British holidaymakers
Rules for holidaymakers returning to the UK from Amber List countries are expected to be relaxed from next week, but the cost of PCR testing will remain unchanged.
Previously, anyone returning on a plane from countries like France, Italy and Greece had to self-isolate for 10 days.
However, under new rules in effect from July 19, anyone who is fully vaccinated or under the age of 18 will no longer need to be quarantined.
READ MORE: In-flight Tui, Ryanair, easyjet, Jet2 and Boots PCR costs
Holiday companies and airline operators, including easyJet, Ryanair, Jet2, TUI and BA, hailed the changes as a “positive step”.
They are also expected to be further strengthened with reports suggesting more countries should be added to the green list this week, including Germany, Poland, Hong Kong and Switzerland.
With the summer school holidays quickly approaching, many families will be looking to enjoy a trip abroad without quarantine instead of a vacation.
The main stumbling block for many people can still be paying hundreds of pounds for PCR tests which need to be done both before and two days after they return to the UK.
However, travel agents are optimistic that the cost of Covid testing is unlikely to be a major barrier to travel this summer as they report a growing number of new customers.
Speaking on a Travel Weekly webcast, agents said the costs of testing are now less prohibitive than when they were first introduced, as many have comprehensive procedures in place to guide customers.
Andy Tomlinson, Managing Director of Sutton Travel, said he had just booked a family of five to vacation in Greece in August and said the costs of the Covid test were “negligible”.
As an example, he cited the PCR tests required on arrival in the UK from overseas as costing £ 25 per person.
He said: “It is important that we send a positive wave when it comes to testing costs. I can see the hassle of deterring people more than the costs.
“A lot of people haven’t been gone for over two years. I don’t think an extra £ 50, £ 60 or £ 70 per person will be a problem for those desperate to escape this summer.
Mr Tomlinson said it was important for agents to make consumers understand that they can sort through all of the aspects now required for travel. Already this year, about a third of Sutton Travel’s activity comes from new clients of the agency.
“We had to make ourselves really well informed; we have a list of things customers have to do, whether it’s testing or insurance, ”he said.
Henbury Travel owner Richard Slater said many customers expected testing costs to be higher, adding: “They are pleasantly surprised when we tell them it’s £ 43.”
Since Christmas, one in three customers booking with the agency was new and had previously booked online or booked vacations independently, Slater said. “Maybe it’s because I’ve been on TV or because they want to be reassured or reassured about the reservation process,” he said.
David Walker, aka The Travel Snob, said the tests accepted by customers were “an additional cost” and said that the fact that they needed more help before traveling abroad was an opportunity to the agents.
He said: “This is our time to shine and let our customers know how lucky they are. [to book through an agent] rather than going straight.
“This is our opportunity to attract new people [clients]. People who have booked in the last 18 months and who normally should have done it themselves now come to an agent for that extra advice and guidance. “
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