Holidaymakers face extra £400 bill as pre-departure tests could return, government warns

MANDATORY pre-departure tests could be required for anyone entering the UK, at an additional cost for holidaymakers.

Scientists are urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to introduce pre-departure tests for travellers coming into the UK to help stop the spread of the Omicron variant.

Currently, travellers must take a PCR test within two days of arriving in the UK and isolate until they get a negative result.

No testing is required before boarding a plane to the country.

A pre-departure test would come at an additional cost to holidaymakers, and operators are hiking prices.

According to The Times, travellers are paying mark-ups of up to £100 for PCR tests sold by firms featured on the government's website.

So for a family of four, pre-departure tests could cost an additional £400 on top of the cost of a holiday.

Government ministers are concerned that introducing pre-departure tests would further damage the travel industry, which has been one of the worst hit industries throughout the pandemic.

Travellers are already required to fill in passenger locator forms, provide proof of negative tests and have a Covid passport to visit most other countries.

The addition of a pre-departure test could prompt some people to abandon plans for a holiday, as the cost is too dear.

The Omicron variant is on the rise in the UK with suspected cases trebling in just five days.

Scientists estimate that one in 300 new infections are now due to the super-mutated bug.

Scottish and Welsh First Ministers Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford have called for more emergency measures to combat the new strain spreading in the UK.

They are urging the Prime Minister to go further by forcing people to do a day eight test as well, and isolate until that comes back negative.

France is to require pre-departure tests for all arrivals from outside the EU from Saturday.

Fully vaccinated passengers will have to present a negative test that is no more than 48 hours.

And here are three symptoms of the Omicron variant that are different to other strains.

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