Briton denounces “scam” travel rules after spending more on Covid tests than on travel abroad


Chris Parker, 37 from Andover, had been eagerly awaiting a short trip to Liverpool’s game in Milan, but has since slammed the government for ‘scam’ test requirements that cost him more than his ticket and flight real.

Chris Parker, 37, flies to Milan tomorrow and returns on Wednesday, but struggles to organize the right tests on time

A British holidaymaker feels ‘ripped off’ by Covid‘s new travel restrictions that were announced over the weekend.

Chris Parker, 32 from Andover, had planned to travel to Milan tomorrow morning to watch the Liverpool Milan soccer match.

However, he has now spent more on his travel tests than on his ticket to the match.

The engineer flies away with friends and will return to the UK less than 24 hours later, but he has to pay for a lateral flow test before departure and a day 2 PCR test for his return.

On Saturday 4th December it was announced that from 4 a.m. on Tuesday all people entering the UK must have proof of a negative side flow test result.







Chris, 27, went out of his way to organize the proper tests before flying to Milan tomorrow
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Picture:

Chris Parker)








Chris can’t wait to go to the game abroad after losing his job
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Picture:

Chris Parker)


The news comes just a week after the government announced that lateral flows were no longer accepted as a day 2 test and that travelers would instead have to purchase a PCR at a private testing clinic.

Since Saturday, Chris has been working to understand the new rule changes and get the testing done.

Speaking to the Mirror, Chris, who flies away at 12:45 tomorrow, said: “I’m going home at 7am Wednesday, I’m literally going to the airport and we’ll probably sleep on a chair at the airport until to our plane trip.

“I filled out my passenger locator form on Friday, but the rules have changed, so I booked a Day 2 test with Randox for my return Wednesday.

“I picked it up yesterday but this weekend [the government] said the rules were changing. He said “you may have to provide proof of a negative Covid test a few days before your departure”.







On Saturday it was announced that anyone entering the UK will need to undergo a private lateral flow test
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Picture:

AFP via Getty Images)


“It wasn’t very clear and British Airways wasn’t clear either, so I did a lateral flow test (NHS) this morning thinking everything would be fine and uploaded the result to the site Web, but I received an email saying “Incorrect Covid Test Attachment ‘.”

Chris is frustrated that travelers are being forced to pay for testing by a private testing provider even though the NHS offers free PCR and sidestream testing.

He said: “I don’t understand what the difference is between an NHS test and a private test.

“The rules are so convoluted. I was obviously frustrated 18 months ago that there was [no restrictions], but now there are no clear instructions that you have to pay for a test, and if we do, we have to pay for a test which is exactly the same as the NHS.

“I just feel ripped off, that’s what I’ve felt all the time. The whole test looks like a scam.”


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Randox, the company Chris booked his test with, was recently at the center of the Owen Paterson scandal.

The disgraced former minister has been accused of taking advantage of more than £ 100,000 a year on top of his MP salary while working as a consultant for Randox Laboratories and Lynn’s Country Foods.

Paterson was found guilty of “flagrant” violation of lobbying rules by the Commons Standards Committee and has since resigned as an MP.

Randox, who also paid £ 160,000 to the Conservative Party, has been handed almost £ 600million in Covid test contracts.

It is one of the many test providers that travelers are forced to purchase a test from instead of using the NHS tests.

Chris added: “The PCR test you do is sent to a lab, but when I got back from Madrid in October when I was doing the test, I felt like it was an NHS lateral flow test. How did I pay £ 40 for this?







Chris took care of his children without a car while his wife was at work, making it more difficult to organize the test
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Picture:

Chris Parker)


“I did the lateral flow test this morning it said it was incorrect I don’t know what that means. What is a correct test? I have a negative test.”

Chris is expected to look after his two young children today while his wife is at work and in the car, which has made the process of getting the right tests and documents sorted on time more stressful.

He said: “I wouldn’t be able to get a lateral feed sent to me in time.

“If I was able to get my wife’s car on time, I would have to drive 20 miles to Basingstoke to take a test at Randox, but I don’t know if I order it, I can pick it up in one. time.

“In the end, I paid for a ticket for the Milan game against Liverpool, and now there are all these keys in hand.”

Sadly, Chris lost his job at the start of the pandemic because the project he was working on was canceled.

So far he has not been able to find another job and the added cost of the tests has been a big blow.

Chris said: “That’s what the bother too. All that unnecessary spending when things are going bad enough the way they are. I have to pay for a test which is exactly the same as the free NHS tests.

“I paid £ 35 to collect a Randox test and I think I saw a lateral flow for £ 17 or £ 21. That makes £ 55 on the tests which is more than the tickets for the match … The tests cost more than the flight, train and bus.

“Normally it is impossible to get tickets to a game away from Liverpool in England, so when I saw the tickets I jumped on them. I don’t think I would have that chance again. .

“I don’t work – I volunteered locally – but it was something I looked forward to. In terms of mental health, having something to look forward to, taking a trip, that can be the light at the end. of the tunnel sometimes.

“We haven’t had this for so long, so if you have the opportunity to do it, you should do it, it’s something you should grab.”

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