News analysis

As the half-term break looms, travel to and from the UK is still a battlefield

The losers in the latest change to the UK’s travel battlefield are clear: the Covid-19 testing companies who have been meeting the lateral flow and PCR needs of arrivals to Britain for the past year or so.

You may find it difficult to summon up much sympathy for these firms. Their parting gift from the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, was an 18-day run after he deemed that the post-arrival test for fully vaccinated travellers had “outlived its usefulness”. They earned an estimated £60m during that spell from selling mandatory tests that were, officially, pointless.

Logic would suggest that the winners are all the travel firms, who have applauded the removal of one of many barriers to adventure. The closest that the travel industry ever gets to harmony was the chorus of chief executives chanting their support.

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