Some passengers arriving in the UK are having to extend their quarantine or pay for additional Covid-19 tests as private labs are failing to deliver results on time, Which? has found.
The news raises concerns about the capacity of the travel testing system weeks before international travel is set to re-open.
Currently, anyone arriving in the UK (unless exempt) must quarantine for a mandatory ten days and take a PCR test on day two and day eight of their quarantine.
These tests typically cost between £160 and £200, but can cost over £500.
Travellers must receive negative results for both tests to leave quarantine after day ten.
However, social media and review sites have been flooded with complaints about test result delays, with a Facebook group for people suffering problems with the system amassing around 1,500 members, and Which? has also heard from travellers who did not receive their test results within ten days.
Without test results, travellers face having to pay hundreds of pounds for additional tests or stay in quarantine for longer than they need to, potentially causing problems for those who cannot work from home.
With mass travel set to resume next month, Which? is concerned that the travel test system – which is already struggling to handle demand when international travel is restricted – is at risk of being overwhelmed, and potentially collapsing when restrictions are lifted.
Rory Boland, Which? Travel editor, said: “The UK’s travel testing system can’t cope with demand, even when relatively small numbers of people are travelling.
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