Shapps hopes travellers can use £5 Covid lateral flow tests

British travellers may be allowed to use £5 supermarket Covid tests when they return from overseas holidays, say reports.

The Sun reported that transport secretary Grant Shapps hopes low-cost lateral flow tests, which can be done at home, will help to reopen international travel.

From late October, the day-two Covid test for fully-vaccinated international arrivals from “a select group of non-red countries” can be conducted with a lateral flow test – ending the requirement for PCR tests, which have been criticised as costly and not being used to track variants.

He said holidaymakers should be able to use supermarket tests when they return, saving hundreds of pounds compared to the current system which requires expensive PCR results.

The Sun reported: “He pointed out that Lidl has started selling a pack of five lateral flows for €25 (£21) at its stores in Ireland.”

Earlier this week, Shapps told the transport select committee he hopes travellers will be able to  buy lateral flow kits for about £30.

But that would still require people to either travel to a test centre or log onto a Zoom call with a health professional.

The Sun reported Shapps as saying: “I look forward to the expansion of lateral flow tests perhaps into supermarkets and elsewhere as we as we get onto the point where people can buy those returning from holiday.

“Remember with PCR tests you didn’t have to be supervised. You had to get that PCR test in advance, you had to record the fact that you ordered it, but you were then trusted to get on and do it.”

He said it will be up to officials at the Department of Health to set the final rules and was confident the policy would come in time for families jetting off at half-term in late October.

Picture by Ink Drop/

MoreTransport secretary ‘chivvying’ health officials for Covid test change

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.