UK holidaymakers should soon be able to use £5 Covid lateral flow supermarket tests

England to scrap free lateral flow tests for most people from Friday April 1

England to scrap free lateral flow tests for most people from Friday April 1. Image: Twitter

UK holidaymakers should soon be able to use £5 Covid lateral flow supermarket tests, says government minister.

British travellers from the UK may be allowed to use £5 supermarket Covid tests when they return from overseas holidays, says a report from The Sun, in what could be a major boost for tourism.

According to the news outlet, transport secretary Grant Shapps is hoping that low-cost lateral flow tests, that can be carried out at home, will help to reopen international travel, boosting the aviation industry and its associated sectors.

From late October, the day-two Covid test for fully-vaccinated international arrivals from “a select group of non-red countries” can be conducted with a lateral flow test – ending the requirement for PCR tests, which have been criticised as costly and not being used to track variants.

Shapps said holidaymakers should be able to use supermarket tests when they return, saving hundreds of pounds compared to the current system which requires expensive PCR results.

The Sun reported: “He pointed out that Lidl has started selling a pack of five lateral flows for €25 (£21) at its stores in Ireland.”

Earlier this week, Shapps told the transport select committee he hopes travellers will be able to buy lateral flow kits for about £30. However,  that would still require people to either travel to a test centre or log onto a Zoom call with a health professional.

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

“Remember with PCR tests you didn’t have to be supervised. You had to get that PCR test in advance, you had to record the fact that you ordered it, but you were then trusted to get on and do it, ” said Shapps.

He said it will be up to officials at the Department of Health to set the final rules and was confident the policy would come in time for families jetting off at half-term in late October.

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Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.