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Holidaymakers ‘to get free rapid Covid tests to use abroad before coming home’

Holidaymakers will be given free Covid tests to take abroad to save them getting a pre-return test in a foreign country, according to reports.

Whitehall sources say that travellers will be offered lateral flow tests to pack in their suitcase.

The fast turnaround tests would be made available to travellers free of charge to save the hassle and expense of getting a test in a foreign country, it is claimed.

These plans are expected to be unveiled on Friday.

A source reportedly told the Daily Mail that health officials are now satisfied the fast tests would be sufficient.

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People coming back from a foreign country have to pay for a gold standard PCR test

But people coming back from a foreign country will have to pay for a gold-standard PCR test when they get home as these are said to be the only tests able to detect variants.

These tests cost at least £50 each.

At the moment, people going abroad for essential travel must take a test under supervision within three days of their return to the UK.

Heathrow
The current ban on international travel is expected to lift after May 17

The current ban on international travel is expected to lift after May 17.

Countries will be ranked using a traffic light-style system, based on the risks from each destination.

People visiting a green list country will not have to quarantine when they return home – making these places a much simpler and safer choice for a holiday.

Stock photo of people on a balcony
Brits could get to go on a holiday soon

You will still have to take a test before travelling, as well as a gold-standard PCR test on or before day 2 of your arrival back in England.

These lab-based tests are more accurate – but more expensive – than the free lateral flow tests now widely available.

For amber countries, returning Brits will have to quarantine at home for up to 10 days.

Lateral flow test
Reports say travellers will be offered lateral flow tests for before they travel back to the UK

You can halve your isolation time by paying for a PCR test on day 5.

You still have to take a test before travelling home and tests on day 2 and 8 if you are doing the full 10-day quarantine.

Mirror Online has contacted the Department of Transport for comment.



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