Travellers face week-long waits for PCR test results over Christmas

One of Britain’s biggest travel testing companies has warned of long delays to PCR test deliveries over Christmas, potentially throwing festive travel plans into disarray. 

Qured announced that Day 2 PCR tests with an arrival date between December 20 and January 3 are “unavailable due to postal closures.” This could impact returning travellers, given that they must now self-isolate until receiving a negative result. Meanwhile, delivery of a Day 2 & Day 8 test package, for unvaccinated travellers, will not be possible from December 14 to January 3. 

The company also warned that the turnaround of returned swabs will be much slower. In a website statement, Qured said: “The last day to post your PCR samples for arrival at the lab before Christmas is December 22. If your travel plans allow it, we urge you to post your sample earlier to avoid potential Royal Mail delays or to use our Expedited Courier service if you’re within the M25.”

The company added that “any tests posted after December 22 are extremely unlikely to be delivered until December 29”.

The Covid testing market has come under fire in recent days with former Competition and Markets Authority chairman, Lord Tyrie, branding it a “rip-off jungle”. He told the BBC: “It appears that some of the worst practices: misleading online advertisements; overpricing; unacceptably poor service among them, are still widespread.”

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