The government has kicked off 57 covid test suppliers from their official gov.uk list following complaints about misleading prices and poor service. Among those removed are companies that no longer exist or cannot provide the correct test.
“If they advertise misleading prices ever again, they’re off.’
A further 87 companies are on notice. Some companies were caught displaying a low price on the government list, which doesn’t resemble the high price charged at check out. From now on, there will be spot checks, and companies will be on a two-strike notice.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid wants to ensure that companies follow the rules and meet high standards of transparency. He said:
“It is absolutely unacceptable for any private testing company to be taking advantage of holidaymakers and today’s action clamps down on this cowboy behaviour.
“If they advertise misleading prices ever again, they’re off.
‘We are also introducing regular spot checks this week to make sure all private providers follow the rules and meet our high standards of transparency.”
Rory Boland, travel editor at Which? told the BBC:
“There should not have been providers listed on the Gov.uk website that don’t exist. We found this in our first investigation in April, when providers were telling us that the system would collapse if larger numbers of people were travelling.”
The Government requires international travellers arriving in England to test before travel and on arrival in the UK. Their list of official suppliers is intended to help travellers find a company to book their second-day test and the required eight-day test if returning from an amber country.
In the meantime, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is reviewing the market in response to growing concerns about the high cost of PCR tests for travel abroad.
Travellers can expect to see lower costs for Covid Test. NHS Test and Trace tests for international arrivals would be reduced – going down from £88 to £68 for travellers coming from green list countries or those arriving from amber list countries who are fully vaccinated.