Sajid Javid says he wants to bin PCR tests for travel

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid (PA Wire)
Health Secretary Sajid Javid (PA Wire)

Sajid Javid has said he wants to get rid of PCR tests for travel “as soon as I possibly can”.

The health secretary said he was aware of how costly it is for families holidaying abroad and the measure should not be in place "for a second longer than is absolutely necessary".

Mr Javid added he asked officials to withdraw the rule "at the moment we can".

He told Sky News’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday: “I’m not going to make that decision right now, but I’ve already asked the officials that the moment we can, let’s get rid of these kinds of intrusions.

“The cost that generates for families, particularly families just trying to go out and holiday, you know we shouldn’t be keeping anything like that in place for a second longer than is absolutely necessary.”

It comes amid reports expensive PCR Covid tests may be binned for fully vaccinated holidaymakers on their return to the UK.

NHS’ free lateral flow tests could replace the costly PCR test which is currently required on the second day after arrival and can cost more than £100, according to The Mail On Sunday.

Boris Johnson, Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Mr Javid and Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove will reportedly be in talks over the plans this week.

Currently, passengers returning from green list countries or amber list destinations if they are fully vaccinated must take PCR tests on or before day two after they arrive in England.

Last month, PCR tests came under fire as holidaymakers faced high prices and bad service from many of the 400 approved test firms listed on the government’s website.

Tests cost about £75 on average but prices can reach hundreds.

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