WHILE more countries are added to the quarantine list for Brits, essentially stopping any holidays for those who cannot self-isolate for two weeks, others are instead requiring negative coronavirus tests upon entry instead.
Here is everything you need to know about getting a negative PCR test if required for a holiday.
Standing for a polymerase chain reaction, a PCR test is a coronavirus test, using saliva to determine if you have the virus.
According to the government website: “A sample is taken which usually involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud. In some cases, you may be asked to provide a provide a saliva sample.”
Some countries require a negative test to be allowed entry.
Cyprus is one of them – Brits must have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours to be allowed into the country.
While mainland Portugal is on the quarantine list, Madeira and the Azores are not, but they also require a negative PCR test 72 hours before travel, along with other health checks and details.
It is advised for Barbados to have a negative test, taken up to 72 hours before arriving, or be forced into quarantine, along with Dubai, who requires a negative test no more than 96 hours before arrival.
Other countries require them on arrival, meaning tourists can take the test at the airport when they enter the country instead.
If you need a negative test to be allowed to go on holiday, this is not possible on the NHS.
Only those with symptoms can request a test for free with the NHS.
Countries may also not accept the NHS test results – not only does it run the risk of the results not arriving on time for the holiday, with many waiting days to get a test, but the responding text may not be accepted by border controls.
A recent study found that there are no coronavirus tests available in 10 of the UK’s Covid ‘hotspots.
Instead, travellers will have to go to a private health facility to get a travel coronavirus test.
This can include booking an appointment or having a home test sent to your address.
As they are issued privately, prices can vary although the average cost is between £100 and £200.
The top entries on Google offering coronavirus test along with travel documents proving you are fit to fly range from £129 to £175.
However, if you need a test at the last minute, this can cost upwards of £500, according to the Telegraph.
Families will also need to have a negative test each, meaning a family of four could be forced to shell out as much as £2,000 for a last minute test.
Thousands of Brits with coronavirus are said to be taking tests that will never be analysed as labs battle with a backlog of 185,000 swabs.
Leaked documents suggest the Government’s “world beating” testing program is so overstretched it is even sending swabs to Italy and Germany to be checked.
In Spain, holiday islands including Tenerife and Lanzarote are looking at introducing Covid tests with results in just 15 minutes in a bid to get Brits to return.