Travellers should buy lateral flow tests from Lidl, says Grant Shapps

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Supermarket sweep: transport secretary recommends bargain hunters buy tests from Lidl  (REUTERS)
Supermarket sweep: transport secretary recommends bargain hunters buy tests from Lidl (REUTERS)

Lateral flow tests from discount supermarkets will help to save money for British travellers returning from abroad, the transport secretary has said.

Grant Shapps said this week that England’s requirement for the post-arrival test to be a PCR will be downgraded at some time in October. Vaccinated returning holidaymakers and inbound tourists whose jabs are recognised by the UK will be able to take a cheaper and faster lateral flow test.

Speaking on Sky News, Mr Shapps told Kay Burley: “I noticed actually in Ireland that Lidl came along with a pack that they’re selling in their stores in the republic there for €25 [£21] and you get five lateral-flow tests.

“I look forward to the expansion of lateral flow tests, perhaps into supermarkets and elsewhere, as we get on to the point where people can buy those for returning from holiday.”

Ms Burley asked: “So you think a little lateral flow test should be accepted as currency enough, or does it have to be a bit more formal than that?”

Mr Shapps replied: “It’ll be for the Department of Health to set out the rules about how people need to go about this.

“But remember with PCR tests, you didn’t have to be supervised, as it were, you had to get that PCR test in advance, you had to record the fact that you’d ordered it, but you were then trusted to get on and do it.

“Obviously the Department of Health will put some guidance in place as to how they want this to operate, and they’re still working on that, so I won’t tread on their toes.

“But I have every confidence that a system will be got up and running in good time.”

Earlier this week the transport secretary told MPs: “By later in October, we will have moved away from day-two PCR testing to a new system of lateral flow tests for fully vaccinated passengers arriving from non-red list countries.”

On 4 October the requirement for fully vaccinated travellers to England to take a “test to fly” will be removed.

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