A major coronavirus testing firm is to offer cut-price PCR tests for travellers returning to the UK from overseas.
Randox announced it will charge customers flying with partner airlines £60 for the tests, which typically cost around £120.
The partner airlines have not been identified, but the PA news agency understands they will be major carriers and the discount will be available ahead of the summer.
Last week’s Government announcement that travellers returning to the UK from all destinations will be required to take PCR tests was met with an angry response from the travel industry.
Many firms wanted people arriving from low-risk countries to be able to take rapid lateral flow device tests, which are significantly cheaper and give results in 30 minutes or less.
PCR tests require swabs being processed in a laboratory, which can take several days and add to the expense.
Randox managing director Dr Peter FitzGerald said: “In recognition of the needs of both the travel industry and the British public at this unprecedented time, Randox will reduce the all-inclusive cost of PCR testing for those in the UK undertaking international travel to £60 per test.
“We can see the pressures faced by both the travel industry and the general public and are committed to effective and economical testing to support holidaymakers and those undertaking international travel.”
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy the PC Agency, said reducing the price of testing is “the magic wand to recovery in the travel sector”.
He went on: “More providers need to encourage people back to travel with lower per person costs so as to stimulate the market.”
Mr Charles also urged the Government to abolish VAT on tests “so that the sector can benefit from every measure possible”.
He added: “Border policies have crushed the travel sector and it now needs full support to get back on its feet.”