22 million Brits have been forced to give up on dreams of foreign travel this year, with the added costs of COVID-19 testing seeing many unable to afford to go abroad.
Those who have enjoyed a holiday since the pandemic outbreak in March 2020 have paid an additional £195 per person in order to secure their fit to travel certificates according to online doctor service, ZAVA, which has partnered with SYNLAB UK & Ireland to offer RT-PCR COVID-19 travel testing.
And for one in ten who had taken a test, their hopes of a holiday were dashed by testing positive for COVID-19, purchasing the wrong type of test, one which wasn’t on the Government’s list of providers, or falling victim to a fraudulent testing scam.
Holidaymakers have also had to contend with the administrative challenges of travelling – for one in three (37%), finding a reputable testing provider has caused confusion, while nearly half (44%) have been flummoxed by the government’s traffic light system.
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Bryan, 27, is from Bristol and works in digital marketing:
“I’m a regular traveller and used to travel around the world every year, but even for me, travel has been difficult due to the amount of documents and tests required. The requirement of a PCR test within 48 hours to travel to Spain, could’ve made the day before travelling extremely stressful – luckily the COVID testing service from ZAVA was very good and I received the Fit to Fly certificate in the early hours of the day before, which made it a lot less stressful. The process of booking and travelling was all fairly easy and normal, for me it felt straightforward but the prep work, as well as the constant change in policies, certainly make it more challenging.”
This combination of cost and additional stress factors has ultimately put half (56%) of adults off travelling abroad at all, with 49% also fearful that they’ll contract COVID-19 abroad or get stuck in a country if it changes status on the government’s traffic light system (65%).
In response to growing travel confusion, ZAVA now offers Fit to Fly and Fit to Travel COVID-19 testing and certification, on-hand patient support, and rapid results that patients can manage from a single online hub.
Dr Babak Ashrafi from online doctor ZAVA comments:
“Travelling is one freedom that many of us Brits have sorely missed, be it to reunite with friends and family members, or just for a break. In fact, a third of us (36%) understandably believe that we deserve a foreign holiday after such a difficult year. But it’s important to take the care and time to fully understand the obligatory testing procedures we need to undertake, buy from reputable government-backed programmes, and be vigilant against COVID-19 related scams. This will ensure, we as a nation, can return to travel safely and minimise as much stress as possible.”
ZAVA’s government approved COVID-19 travel testing kits are available to purchase.