Speaking from Portugal, travel expert Simon Calder warned Britons coronavirus testing could be more expensive than flights out of the UK. He said his flight to the Azores “cost £25” but the test “cost £100”. His comments come as he gave travel advice to those desperate to get away from the UK into the sun this summer. But he warned of the mounting paperwork involved with travelling during Covid, even in countries being listed on the ‘green list’ which means you do not have to quarantine on arrival or return.
Calder told the show: “We had this silly situation where Friday afternoon the Portuguese said ok Brits you can come in but by the way if you are booked on Monday’s fight you better get your act together because we are going to need a negative PCR test.
“So I was running around at the weekend down at Heathrow because they guaranteed that they would get the results back to me.”
The travel journalist added: “And the flight cost £25, the test cost £100.
“There is something gone wrong there.”
Mr Calder also warned Brits that the paperwork for holidays must not be underestimated.
He said: “The only cloud on the horizon is that for going back, I have got to start getting all the forms in place.
“Tests before departure, book a test before arrival, fill in a passenger locator form.
“I’ve been to the Soviet Union and honestly it was a lot easier than just coming back into my own country after this!”
Portugal has been listed as a ‘green list’ destination for Brits meaning you do not need to quarantine on arrival or return from holiday – which makes it a desirable option for British holidaymakers who want to escape the UK for a break.
But the country has some of the strictest Covid restrictions, similar to Spain and Italy.
Masks and face coverings are mandatory indoors and outdoors, on public transport and UK holidaymakers are subject to the local rules.
Punters must also wear a mask when entering or leaving the beach in Portugal – if they don’t follow these rules they face a massive €1,000 fine.
Other green list countries include Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Israel.
Foreign travel reopened on May 17 along with other restrictions being lifted in the UK, such as indoor hospitality and an end to the overnight stay ban.
And a huge 20 flights from the UK landed in Faro, Portugal on Monday morning bringing sun chasing Britons into the country for a much-needed holiday.
Countries labelled as ‘amber’ and ‘red’ on the UK Government’s traffic light system’ remain virtually off-limits for Britons as they are countries with high covid rates.
Travellers to red list countries have to quarantine in government-provided hotels at a cost of around £1,750 per head – covering food, accommodation, transport, and testing.