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‘Huge confusion’ over Covid tests needed for green list countries

Traveller confusion over the Covid-19 tests they need to take to travel to overseas holiday destinations has emerged in new research.
Malta, Madeira and Majorca, added to the green ‘watchlist’ from next Wednesday, have different requirements for arrivals.
Majorca and the Balearic islands allow entry to all UK holidaymakers, those going to Madeira need a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours of travel, while the same applies for those visiting Malta
A survey of more than 2,000 people for Cignpost ExpressTest found that just 18% were clear about what Covid test they would need to travel, and only 8% knew the test they would need to take on their return, with 9% believing that no test was required.

 One third of those surveyed (32%) believe that they can use the free NHS tests for international travel.

Key findings of the research, conducted by Opinium, include:

  • 1 in 5 people (21%) are considering or planning to go on holiday abroad this year. The highest figure is for 18-34 age group with 29% planning a holiday trip. Londoners are the group most likely to travel with 39% planning a break.
  • The three biggest concerns that those surveyed had about travel were the need to quarantine on return (43%), extra testing costs (40%) and holiday prices being more expensive (27%).
  • There is huge confusion about testing: only 18% could correctly identify the test they need to travel to a green list country. Almost a third (32%) believed that they could use a free NHS test and 9% think they do not need a test at all.
  • Similarly, just 8% understood the mix of tests they would need to take on return to the country from green list destinations.  Even among those planning to travel, only 14% understood the testing they will need.
  • A higher percentage (22%) understood the Day 2 and Day 8 tests that they would have to take when travelling back from an amber list country.
  • However, almost half (46%) of those questioned did understand the time limits for taking a test before travel.
Cignpost ExpressTest chief executive Christian Corney said: “This research shows that there is huge confusion about the Covid-19 tests those travelling abroad need to take.
“Inevitably, this is going to mean thousands of people will either be unable to board their plane or could get stranded abroad. People rightly want to be able to travel safely without risk to themselves or their families.
“We have tried to provide our customers with the information they need to understand the different options but we urge the Government to do more to communicate clearly the tests that are needed at each stage of a trip. The fact that many people are planning on using the NHS testing system could pile unnecessary additional pressure on the health service.”

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