September 25, 2021

Dubai Week

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UK health minister criticizes cost of COVID test for travelers

Britain’s competition watchdog said it would look at the cost of Covid-19 tests for travelers, after Health Minister Sajid Javid complained that high test prices were preventing some from taking holidays.

On Sunday, British Health Minister Javid said he had asked the competition and markets watchdog to crack down on “unfair market practices” used by service providers.

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“Citizens should be able to go on vacation, whether it’s to see family or just relax, without fear of the excessive costs of BCR exams,” he added on Twitter.

On average, CCTV tests required of most travelers cost around £75 ($104) per test, or £300 for a family of four, but many companies charge much higher fees.

The prices offered by the providers of these tests, which are listed on the government’s website, range from 17 pounds ($24) to 250 pounds ($347).

The oversight body has the power to intervene directly when unfair practices are discovered, and it can also provide direct advice to ministers to take faster action.

In turn, the competition watchdog said: “We are aware of the concerns about the evolving market for COVID-19 tests for international travelers… We look forward to providing the Minister of Health with advice on how best to ensure that travelers receive affordable and reliable testing.”

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Meanwhile, health officials delivered doses of a vaccine against the Corona virus, produced by Pfizer, today, Sunday, at a temporary vaccination center set up for the first time in a nightclub.

The center, located in London’s Haven nightclub, is part of an effort to encourage young people to get vaccinated.

Source: Associated Press