Flights: Ryanair to slash PCR test costs in half for passengers jetting off from May 17

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Ryanair has teamed up with clinical diagnostic solutions firm Randox to deliver PCR tests for passengers at a reduced cost. Holidaymakers jetting off from May 17 will be required to take pre-and post-departure tests at their own expense, regardless of which colour their destination is categorised as under the “traffic light” system.

These PCR tests typically cost around £120 which experts have warned could ramp up the price of holidays.

However, thanks to the partnership between Irish-carrier Ryanair and Random, customers will be able to access a discount code for their test when booking with Ryanair.

The discount will be available on both pre-departure and return to the UK tests, and testing kits required for days two and eight, depending on whether a traveller is returning from a ‘green’ or ‘amber’ destination.

Passengers travelling from a ‘green’ destination will require a PCR test on day two of their return, meanwhile, travellers jetting off to an ‘amber’ destination will require a PCR test on days two and five of their mandatory self-isolation period.

Those returning from red list destinations must test on days two and eight of their hotel quarantine stat, however, the cost of these tests is included with the £1,1750 hotel quarantine package paid to the Government.

Customers booking with Ryanair will be sent a discount code for the Randox website.

The PCR testing kits will be delivered to passengers’ homes in the UK. The kit must then be registered online using the unique reference number provided.

Travellers can take the test themselves, before delivering or sending the completed test back to their nearest “Randox Drop Box” or “Randox Health Clinic”. It can also be delivered by courier.

Test results are “guaranteed” to be delivered the next day.

More information on how to access a £60 test is available on the Ryanair website.

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According to Randox: “In order to achieve the £60 price, which is limited to those undertaking international travel, purchasers will need to apply a discount code which can initially be obtained from airlines when booking travel.”

Ryanair joins British Airways and Thomas Cook who have also teamed up with the test provider to offer discounted prices on PCR tests.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman, and CEO said: “As we prepare for a safe return to travel, we remain focused on offering our customers the most convenient and affordable testing options, to support and facilitate a seamless travel experience.

“We are pleased to be working with Randox to offer British Airways customers an affordable PCR test that meets the UK Government’s requirements.”

Thomas Cook is also promising customers “heavily discounted” access to PCR tests when they book flights or holidays through the online travel agency.

A spokesperson explained: “Further to the news that Randox is offering heavily discounted tests to selected partners, I wanted to confirm that all Thomas Cook customers will now be able to benefit from these discounted £60 PCR tests.

“This includes any need for a test prior to leaving the UK and day two and day eight tests, as well as test to release if chosen, once a customer has returned home.

“We already had a deal that meant our customers had tests discounted to £85 so this is a substantial improvement on even that reduction.”

However, some experts have raised concerns that the discount opportunity comes with too many “strings attached”.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “While it is, of course, good news to see a test provider reduce its costs, it’s unhelpful that this comes with strings attached in that passengers may have to book with certain airlines.

“More oversight of testing costs across the board is needed to ensure that testing is affordable to all who need or want to travel abroad, whoever they want to book with.

“The Government should look at ways it can work with test providers to reduce the cost of mandatory testing, as many other countries have, to ensure that when international travel resumes, it is safe and affordable for all.”

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