Where to find cheap PCR travel tests near you – how to slash costs and save £40

Travel: Simon Calder discusses taking PCR tests

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Holidays are very different since the coronavirus pandemic began, with most countries enforcing travel rules. Around the world, Covid tests are a common feature, with the UK imposing PCR testing rules for arrivals.

In recent months the cost of these tests has been thrown into the spotlight, with the Competition and Markets Authority(CMA) launching an investigation into certain providers.

However, many firms are already working to try and bring down costs for travellers.

In some instances, testing firms have partnered with airlines or airports to provide special deals and discounts for customers.

What are the current testing rules?

For travellers heading overseas, each country has their own specific requirements for entry.

This is why it is vital you check the unique regulations for your destination before travelling.

In the UK, testing rules vary depending on the country of departure.

In all cases, travellers flying into the UK from abroad must take a pre-departure Covid test though this does not necessarily need to be a PCR test.

According to Gov.UK PCR tests, Lamp tests and antigen tests including lateral flow devices can be used.

However, those travelling to the UK from green list countries must book and pay for a PCR test to be taken on day two of their arrival.

Vaccinated travellers returning from amber list countries are also obliged to take a day two PCR test.

Unvaccinated arrivals from amber list countries must take a day two test and a further PCR test on day eight. They are also subject to quarantine.

Red list arrivals will be required to spend 10 days in Government-mandated quarantine in a dedicated hotel. This is at the cost of the traveller, but will also include tests for day two and day eight go the period.

How to find a testing provider near you?

Holidaymakers looking for a testing firm must first ensure it is one of the approved providers listed on the UK Government website.

While some of these firms offer remote or at-home tests that can be accessed nationally, others are based in specific regions which mean not everyone can use them.

You should check the locations of each firm in the Government’s approved list to ensure it is accessible to you.

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How to find a cheap PCR test?

The cost of PCR testing will depend on whether or not you need just a day two test or a day two and day eight test.

For those who need a day two and day eight test, it is best to book a package.

Most testing firms will offer packages of both tests.

Testing is provided by airlines, airports and private or NHS services. It is important to note free NHS testing services can not be used to facilitate tests for travel.

According to Alex Templeton, CEO of Government-approved testing firm Qured, one of the best ways to source a cheap deal is via discount codes.

He told Express.co.uk: “Travellers should check their airlines and airports to see what savings are available, as well as visiting the websites of testing providers to find out more about available discounts.”

How much do testing packages cost?

Below are the average costs for day two tests with airlines (with customer discount codes) and testing providers:

British Airways: A home testing kit is available for £43.

easyJet: A home testing kit is available for £43.

Jet2: A home testing kit is available for £43.

Ryanair: A home testing kit is available for £43.

TUI: Package holiday customers can purchase a pre-departure and day two test for £20. For £60 they can also add on a PCR test for their outward journey.

Virgin Atlantic: A home testing kit is available for £68.

Nationwide Pathology: A home testing kit is available for £40.

Testing for all: A home testing kit is available for £48.

Randox Health: A home testing kit is available for £48.

Eurofins: A home testing kit is available for £55.

CTM: A home testing kit is available for £68.

ExpressTest: A test carried out at a designated centre is available for £69.

CityDoc: A home testing kit is available for £70.

Boots: A home testing kit is available for £75.

Qured: A home testing kit is available for £75.

Project Screen: A home testing kit is available for £79.

Collinson: A test carried out at a designated centre is available for £82.50.

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Below are the average costs for day two and day eight tests with airlines (with customer discount codes) and testing providers:

British Airways: A home testing kit is available for £86.

easyJet: A home testing kit is available for £86.

Jet2: A home testing kit is available for £86.

Ryanair: A home testing kit is available for £86.

TUI: A pre-departure and day two home testing kit package is available for £50. Customers can add on a PCR test for their outward journey for £90.

Virgin Atlantic: A home testing kit is available for £132. For £167 passengers can add on a rapid antigen test for both the outward journey and return journey. For £207 passengers can add on an outward PCR test and a rapid antigen for their return flight to the UK.

Nationwide Pathology: A home testing kit is available for £85.

Testing for all: A home testing kit is available for £96.

Randox: A home testing kit is available for £96.

Eurofins: A home testing kit is available for £99.

ExpressTest: Tests carried out at a designated centre are available for £129.

CTM: A home testing kit is available for £136.

CityDoc: A home testing kit is available for £140.

Boots: A home testing kit is available for £145.

Qued: A home testing kit is available for £150.

Project Screen: A home testing kit is available for £154.

Collinson: A test carried out at a designated centre is available for £165.

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