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Test travel regime must be easy and cheap, says Johnson

April 7, 2021 5:54 am

Boris Johnson says any testing regime for international travel should be easy and cheap, after the boss of EasyJet criticised new government plans.

The prime minister also said vaccine passports would be a “fact of life” for people travelling internationally in future.

The government hopes to reopen international travel on 17 May, but is yet to make a final decision.

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However, the prime minister said he had “not given up” on the idea.

Under plans outlined on Sunday, destinations would be classed as green, amber or red based on their Covid infection rates and vaccination coverage.

No isolation would be necessary on return to the UK from green countries, but pre-departure and post-arrival tests would be required, potentially costing up to £200 each.

But earlier on Tuesday, EasyJet boss Johan Lundgren told the BBC this would make travel too expensive, with the tests costing as much or more than a flight in some cases.

Asked about the comments, and whether cheaper lateral flow tests could replace PCR tests in the plans, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I do think we want to make things as easy as we possibly can.

“The boss of EasyJet is right to focus on this issue, we’re going to see what we can do to make things as flexible and as affordable as possible.”

Mr Lundgren told the BBC that if costs were not reduced, the government “wouldn’t open up international travel for everyone, but only those who can afford it.

“If you are ticking all of those boxes to become a green destination… [multiple tests] don’t make sense to me and it would add to cost and complexities.”

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