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76% of travellers not asked for PCR tests on arrival in the UK

The Business Travel Association (BTA) has revealed that 76% of travellers returning to the UK said their PCR test result was not looked at or verified by the UK Border Force.

A survey, conducted by the Association, asked a series of questions to over 500 individuals who have travelled outside the UK from January to August 2021. The figures highlight traveller confidence, testing regulations and the Government’s approach to international travel following the Coronavirus pandemic.

The data from the BTA highlights 97% of 486 people said nobody asked to see their Day 2 or Day 8 PCR test on their return to the UK. It also shows 97% of travellers believe PCR testing should be removed for fully vaccinated travellers returning from Green list countries – whilst 86% of travellers think it should be removed for Amber list countries and 13% for Red list countries.

Currently, those travelling for business and leisure think current testing options are too expensive. Out of 503 travellers, 61% think PCR tests for travel should cost between £10-£20, whilst 16% of people think it should be free of charge.

Additionally, the biggest concern of travellers surveyed is related to Covid-19 testing. Out of 504 people, 88% are concerned about the cost of testing, 71% are worried about the stress of getting the tests done and 65% are concerned about the stress of awaiting PCR test results. Staggeringly, over 70% of travellers are worried about the lack of any regulation on testing providers by the UK Government.

The BTA is calling on the Government to recognise the findings of their survey and remove testing for double vaccinated travellers returning from green and amber list countries alongside introducing a testing price cap of £20.

Since May, the BTA has partnered with travel data provider Travelogix to develop their Business Travel Tracker, which analyses the economic value of business travel. Since the end of May, the tracker has shown the UK has lost over £73 billion in GDP due to the unprecedented decline of business travel trips following the pandemic.

Clive Wratten, CEO of the BTA, said: “The findings from our latest travel survey are shocking. It is appalling to see over 75% of people travelling throughout the last eight months have not been asked to show their PCR tests on arrival to the UK, some of which cost over £100 to take.” 

“As a crucial economic enabler for the UK and the world, it is pivotal business and leisure travellers can book with confidence and have access to affordable, accessible testing.”

“We hope our data revealed today will provide a stark reminder to the Government of the many pitfalls of the UK’s current approach to global travel and testing, and we continue to call on them to get global travel moving safely, smoothly and securely once again.” 

The results of the BTA’s Travel Survey can be viewed in full here.