EWN Champions the Rights of Brits in Spain to See Loved Ones Again

EWN Champions the Rights of Brits in Spain to See Loved Ones Again. Image: Wikimedia

THE EWN has launched a campaign to champion the rights of Britons in Spain to afford to see their loved ones again.

Following an outpouring of concern from expats that the high prices being charged in UK for PCR tests to travel could prevent loved ones seeing each other again, the EWN has begun a campaign to help make a difference.

According to reports, the price of PCR tests for travel can range from £60 (€69) to £214 (€246).  And while the UK requires tests on both entering and leaving this could add hundreds to the price of travel for many hoping to see their friends and family again this summer.

Last week, the Euro Weekly News ran a poll asking readers whether they believed the UK government should introduce a price limit on the cost of tests, and a whopping 85.2 per cent agreed prices should be capped.

One reader agreed with a cap, saying: “Definitely, I don’t want to go on holiday, I just want to go home to see my family in the UK.”

While another said: “It is scandalous that people are having to pay high costs… to enter the UK.”

A further reader added: “They should be a set price that people can afford.”

Now CEO of the EWN, Michel Euesden, has written to the UK’s Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP, calling on him to introduce a price cap on PCR tests making them more affordable for Britons in Spain looking forward to seeing their loved ones again when international travel is permitted.

In her letter, Michel wrote: “With around 360,000 Britons in Spain, many of whom still have family, homes and businesses in the UK, readers have been getting in touch concerned about the price of UK PCR tests for international travel.

“According to Which?, PCR tests for passengers in the UK can range from £60 to £214, causing concern that families in the UK will be unable to afford the costs of visiting elderly expat relatives in Spain, and that Britons here will be unable to travel between Spain and the UK.

“After such a long separation from loved ones during the pandemic it is a priority for Britons here for tests to be affordable enough to see their families again.

“The many Britons here with tourism-related businesses are also eager to ensure that UK travellers are not deterred from visiting Spain this summer due to the high price of tests.

“I would be very grateful, therefore, if you could please tell me if the government has any plans to introduce a cap on the price companies can charge UK travellers? Or whether it plans to introduce a standard test price to help UK nationals reunite with their loved ones?”

The EWN is now waiting for the government’s response and is encouraging Britons in Spain concerned about the impact of high costs on seeing family and on business to get involved with its campaign via our petition here.

Those signing the petition told of their concerns about the high costs of PCR tests.

One person said: “As pensioners we simply cannot afford the high cost of PCR tests.”

Another person said: “International travel needs to be made affordable again as soon as possible. Families need to be able to see each other again.”

To make your voice heard and to support all Brits hoping to see their families again, as well as our tourism industry, join our petition now and work together to help bring families together again this summer.

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Written by

Sally Underwood

Originally from London, Sally is based on the eastern Costa del Sol and is a journalist for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

Comments


    • Evelyn Hammond-Webb

      17 April 2021 • 18:14

      I am an 80 year old British ex-pat with one son in England and another in Poland both with my grandchildren. Having had two Pfizer vaccines with printed proof, I thought I was now eligible to travel to both countries. Why should Britain add further tests that are expensive to a pensioner whose State Pension is well below other EU countries when they are allowing other travellers in with no vaccination. I know they have to go into quarantine but there ought to be better consideration between both airlines and Governments if they want their economies to flourish without taking it away from pensioners.

      Reply
    • W. Beaumont

      18 April 2021 • 10:30

      As pensioners on the lowest UK state pension the cost of the 2 x PCR for each and the return at the lower cost is more than two and a half weeks pension and at the top end its out of the question and this is added to the cost of travel and medical insurance.

      Reply
    • John Price

      19 April 2021 • 12:56

      From the Daily Telegraph:
      Covid tests for holidaymakers could fall below £50
      The Treasury could choose to exempt the tests from VAT

      By
      Charles Hymas,
      HOME AFFAIRS EDITOR
      18 April 2021 • 9:00pm

      Private Covid tests for summer holidaymakers could fall below £50 under plans being considered by the Treasury to exempt them from VAT.

      In a partial climbdown, HMRC has already ruled that the gold standard PCR tests will be exempt from VAT when they are administered or overseen by a registered nurse, The Telegraph can reveal.

      Now senior sources say the Treasury could go further and fully exempt the tests from the charge which can add 20 per cent to the price which can range from £60 to £300 per test. The exemption would mean a saving of roughly between £40 and £240 for a family of four for a single test each on their return.

      The decision will affect thousands of holidaymakers because of the Government’s insistence that all travellers returning to the UK must take at least one PCR test on or before the second day of their arrival even if they are coming from a safe “green list” country.

      For those travelling from “amber list” countries, they will continue to have to take two PCR tests on days two and eight of their 10-day quarantine at home. The same is required of those arriving from “red list” countries who have to quarantine in Government-approved hotels.

      Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, has pledged to drive down the costs of privately-administered PCR tests for travellers and threatened to remove “profiteering” companies from the Government’s register of approved providers if any are found to be “ripping off” holidaymakers.

      Most EU countries have exempted tests from VAT after the EU recommended the move. Their average charge of £62 is half the £130 average in the UK.

      Government sources confirmed the VAT charge was “under review” and “all options are on the table.”

      One source told The Telegraph: “Exempting the tests from VAT is being seriously considered. The main concerns are that test providers pass on the saving to travellers and whether it will set a precedent for removing the charge in other areas of the economy.”

      Nick Markham, co-founder of Cignpost Diagnostics, which provides PCR tests for £60 at Gatwick and £80 at Heathrow, Birmingham and Edinburgh airports, said it would immediately pass on the full reduction:

      He told The Telegraph: “Cignpost would strongly support any move by the Government to reduce or eliminate VAT on Covid testing. We would immediately pass on the full reduction to our customers.

      “Our test prices have been the lowest in the market since we launched our PCR testing for holidaymakers – starting at £60 at Gatwick. We want to play our part in making testing as affordable as possible to enable those traveling abroad to do so at the lowest cost.”

      David Evans, Joint chief executive of Collinson, one of the biggest medical testing companies, said: “If the Government is serious about making required testing for travel affordable, it must give this relief, which we would pass directly onto our customers.”

      Reply
    • G Williams

      19 April 2021 • 13:04

      How much are the same tests in Spain?

      Reply
      • John Smith

        19 April 2021 • 13:36

        Cheapest I am aware of in San Pedro Alcantara from a respectable clinic is €40.

        Reply
    • John Christopher Swann

      19 April 2021 • 15:53

      So what is so wrong with the NHS format?
      I had a test carried out at Boots and was concerned at the similarity as one was free of charge and the other was £120.00

      Reply
      • edgar wright

        21 April 2021 • 09:33

        Money grab, taking advantage of a situation like some law firms do.

        Reply
    • Dorothy McIntosh

      19 April 2021 • 16:48

      I think pcr should be cheaper. I have had both vaccinations and have also spent 12 days in hospital with
      Covid I would really love to get back to my home in Spain to visit family and friends before I die.

      Reply
    • Renato Besomi

      20 April 2021 • 00:28

      Stay at Home!!!

      Reply
    • John

      21 April 2021 • 18:17

      Two PCR tests when going from a green country (eg Gibraltar with zero cases of covid) to the UK is complete overkill. Amber and red, fair enough. The UK government keeps wavering between way too lax and pointlessly tough.

      Reply
    • burnel penhaul

      01 May 2021 • 20:38

      I have made previous commentsmjust hope this will get some results/
      these private co are having a laugh, why should there be VAT for some thing like this, I can buy a recliner chair less vat just by signing a declaration,We are going back after 20yrs to enable our daughter to keep an eye on us rather than go in a home, And yes whilst at work I had about 2 weeks on sick for peanuts I was self employed employing 5 other people did 5 yrs apprentice ship and national service about £2 10 a week and whilst in business constantly hounded by planners and VAT, retirement has been wonderful in Spain, ____ but all things must come to an end.

      Reply
    • Julie

      05 May 2021 • 04:09

      Why do we need to pay private companies when there are test centres all around the UK with employees twiddling their thumbs. Why can’t a nominal fee be paid to the NHS by UK passport holders ?
      Instead of big business making money, causing more misery, and putting people into debt to see loved ones.

      Reply
    • PHILIP EDWARD BETHELL

      16 May 2021 • 19:03

      Because all these companies have links to tory politicians and as usual the pigs have there noses in the trough first been a joke since they Boris got in tory cronies being paid millions for ferries that was not there ppe distribution company that could not transport a parcel without the help of the Army? Boris is a week kneed leader to late to shut borders changes his mind if he thinks its going to upset his mates we need a change at the TOP Maggie would not have stood for this crap

      Reply
    • Beiderbeck

      16 May 2021 • 20:02

      It looks like ‘urging the government’ is a very well phrased point, but when did anything result from such polite, really civilised approaches to this UK Government. As restrictions are set to ease, one would think a response to this serious appeal is now overdue. It also seems the steam has gone out of the comments, as I cannot find any after 5 May……….shame really as it needs some people power to maintain the struggle to ..well… just lower the tensions around international travel to UK at this difficult time.

      Reply
    • Becks

      18 May 2021 • 13:09

      We have all complied..stayed at home havent seen loved ones..had our vaccines why are the uk making it impossible for us to go to orange countries…yes if we need to self isolate we will but these ridiculous prices for PCR tests are unfair !!! And a money making scheme for all these greedy companies who have total power( and have made millions from this pandemic already ) because our government have failed to introduce a cap so we cant be exploited again !

      Reply

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