If only they’d used a travel agent…

By Linsey McNeill
Home » If only they’d used a travel agent…

Several passengers have reportedly been turned away for flights because they’ve taken the wrong type of COVID test for their destination.

Some have used the free NHS Test & Trace service, which is not allowed for international travel.

While this advice is clear on the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) website, passengers told the BBC You & Yours programme that they weren’t aware they had to pay for private tests.

One passenger, an NHS nurse, missed her Ryanair flight from Birmingham to Dublin because she only had a free NHS PCR test as proof she was COVID-free.

She said she was unaware she had to take a private test, even though she had ‘triple checked’ the rules. She believed her routine COVID test for work could be used because it met the testing standard required by the Irish authorities.

Ryanair told the BBC that a number of other passengers on the same flight were denied boarding because they failed to present a negative COVID RT-PCR test result, as required by Irish regulation.

The airline said it fully complies with government restrictions. Its website does warn against using the free NHS Test and Trace testing, but the passenger said she thought she could use her test routinely taken at work.

Another NHS nurse was unable to board an easyJet flight from London Luton to Porto in Portugal for the same reason. She thought the PCR test taken at work would be valid as it included an email document with her name, date of birth, the date the sample was tested and the negative result. However, it didn’t include the day and time the test was taken.

EasyJet told You & Yours: “Passengers travelling to Portugal are currently required to present a negative Covid test on departure, which includes providing documentation from a private provider with details of the passenger and the date the test was taken.

“Should passengers be unable to provide this unfortunately we are unable to carry them. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused however we do require passengers to have the correct documentation as required by the authorities.”

See the entry rules and testing requirements for the major holiday destinations here

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