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One in four Brits (24%) are still considering going abroad this summer with one in five (19%) prepared to defy Government advice and go to Amber List countries such as Spain, according to a survey of 2,000 people across the UK out today by COVID testing service Project Screen by Prenetics.
A further 13% would consider a holiday abroad if it was more affordable.
Younger people are more likely to go abroad with 38% of 18-24 year olds, the age group least likely to have been fully vaccinated, considering a holiday abroad this summer but only 14% of over 65s.
And 34% of 18-24 year olds said they would consider travelling to an Amber List country but only 7% of over 65s.
The Survation survey was commissioned by Project Screen by Prenetics.
The survey also found 51% of the public would back the move to make COVID tests VAT free with only 21% opposing it.
Avi Lasarow, EMEA CEO of Project Screen by Prenetics, who have tested more than 3m people worldwide and provides COVID testing for Heathrow, Southend Airport, Virgin and Eurotunnel passengers, said:
“After more than a year of lockdowns and restrictions, Britain deserves a break. It is absolutely right the Government puts public safety first.
“But our survey showed that 16 million people are still considering travelling this summer and more of them will now require two tests after they return, following the Government’s decision to add Portugal to the Amber List.
“We had more than 600 calls from British holidaymakers in Portugal in one day when the announcement was made.
“So it’s vital we make it safer and cheaper for them. We have made tests more affordable through partnerships with the travel industry but if the Government was to axe VAT on holiday COVID tests it would make a significant further difference and bring the cost of tests in the UK below £50.
“The money saved by removing VAT could save a family of four the costs of flights to Spain and back. This is a positive step the Government could make to help families take a holiday and give a boost to the travel industry.
“If the Government axes VAT on holiday COVID tests I promise we will pass on every single penny saved to the public to make it safer and cheaper to go abroad. And I challenge everyone in the testing industry to do the same.”
The study also found 59% were unaware the Government charges VAT on holiday COVID tests, supporting claims that VAT on tests is a ‘stealth tax.’
The survey found that if VAT was removed from the test:
There was also significant lack of awareness of the total cost of COVID tests needed to go on holiday to Amber List countries.
When told the average cost of a PCR test was £128 and that it would cost a family of four a total of £1,536, 46% said they were unaware of the cost.
The survey also found opposition to VAT being imposed on tests:
When people who are considering travelling this summer were asked to pick their three top destinations, the top 10 answers were:
4% chose India and 2% Pakistan – both red list countries.