According to Government insiders, the VAT charge in PCR tests is “under review” and “all options are on the table.” Most European Union countries have exempted these tests from VAT.
One source told The Telegraph: “Exempting the tests from VAT is being seriously considered.
“The main concerns are that test providers pass on the saving to travellers and whether it will set a precedent for removing the charge in other areas of the economy.”
Nick Markham, co-founder of Cignpost Diagnostics, has thrown his support behind any plans to scrap the VAT charge.
He highlighted the importance of the move in making travelling more affordable.
He told The Telegraph: “Cignpost would strongly support any move by the Government to reduce or eliminate VAT on Covid testing.
“We would immediately pass on the full reduction to our customers.
“Our test prices have been the lowest in the market since we launched our PCR testing for holidaymakers – starting at £60 at Gatwick.
“We want to play our part in making testing as affordable as possible to enable those traveling abroad to do so at the lowest cost.”
David Evans, Joint chief executive of medical testing firm Collinson, echoed similar claims.
He said: “If the Government is serious about making required testing for travel affordable, it must give this relief, which we would pass directly onto our customers.”
The plans come after test providers were accused of setting extortionate prices for PCR tests bought by travellers arriving in the UK, with some companies charging up to £300 for a single test.
Some firms are selling theirs for £60, making a significant difference for travellers who must take two tests during their quarantine period.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has come under fire over plans to make travellers pay for coronavirus tests if they want to go on an international holiday, with MPs and travel industry leaders raising concerns that the extra expenses will make “travel unviable and unaffordable for many people.”
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