Outrigger Hotels and Resorts

Published on Monday, August 9, 2021

Sajid Javid calls for scrutiny on 'excessive' PCR test prices

The Health Secretary has urged the Competition and Markets Authority to probe 'excessive' PCR test prices and 'exploitative practices' of private PCR test providers.

Sajid Javid wrote to the UK's competition watchdog calling for an investigation.

"We have all experienced enormous disruption to our lives over this pandemic but it is not right if families experience yet further disruption unnecessarily because of potentially unfair practices in the market for private travel tests," Javid said.

There are more than 400 test providers on the government's list but only about 25 are accredited with regulator UKAS.

The list shows big differences in the price for tests depending on the provider with about a quarter charging more than £200. One London clinic has tests listed as £575.

The Lib Dems asked the government to cap costs, and scrap the VAT charge to 'cut the red tape that is keeping prices high.'

"International travel cannot become a luxury that only the wealthy can afford," said Lib Dem spokeswoman Munira Wilson.

"When the cost of providing a test is estimated to be £20, why are many companies charging well over £100 and some over £500?"

There has been a chorus of disapproval over Covid test price gouging for several months led by travel industry groups such as IATA who accused companies of 'profiteering.'


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