The Travel Network Group hopes to “take the stress away from its members” by agreeing deals with two Covid PCR test providers so they can offer them to customers for £45.
Customers who book through TTNG travel agents will be able to secure a test with Eurofins Covid Testing Services Ltd (ECTS) for £44.90.
Sample kits will be delivered by Royal Mail Special Delivery to the customers’ homes, with prepaid postage back to the laboratory included.
Members with retail premises or offices can also sign up to become one of Eurofins’ collection boxes for their local communities.
The travel agency consortium has also partnered with another testing provider, Randox Health, through which members can access its discounted rate of £60 using a code.
The home-test kits are returned to Randox laboratories via next day delivery drop boxes and results sent directly to travellers between 12 and 24 hours from arrival in the labs. A ‘Day 2 and 8’ is also offered to TTNG members’ customers by Randox, for a reduced £120.
Customers returning from any destination will require at least two PCR tests, as part of the government’s new traffic light system for international travel restrictions when travel resumes, from as early as May 17.
Arrivals from ‘green’ destinations must take a pre-departure PCR test in their overseas destination, plus another on day two of their return; those arriving from amber and red destinations must also take a further test on day eight of return – as well as adhere to quarantine restrictions, at home for amber or at a government-approved hotel for red.
Details of which countries are on which lists is expected in “early May”.
Gary Lewis, chief executive of The Travel Network Group said: “When the government announced the traffic light system, we identified the cost of testing as a major barrier to travel for many people.
“When customers book a holiday, they will have no way of knowing which category their destination will be in when they travel, so run the risk of having to pay for multiple tests or quarantining on their return to the UK.
“The government has provided a list of over 400 companies that can provide general testing or test-to-release for international travel. Providers include pharmacies, private GP surgeries and aesthetic clinicians, who can all offer accredited testing but with no indication of cost to the consumer.
“We looked at many different providers and found prices for PCR testing for travel varying between £119 and £225.
‘’By identifying these two strong providers who can offer testing at £44.90 and £60.00, we hope we have taken away the stress from our members, into researching testing providers and that they can now recommend an affordable solution to their customers, with capacity to cope huge levels of daily testing.
“As more is known about how the traffic light system will work, we will continue to lobby the government on showing more regulation of the testing sector, so pricing is standardised and an accessible solution is put in place to fulfil the testing requirements outlined in the framework.”
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