Anyone who is eager to get away on holiday abroad this year will be make to take a PCR test.

International trips could become a reality for many people from May 17, but testing will be essential.

Many countries now insist you must have a negative Covid test before entering the country. Under a new traffic light system that is being introduced in the UK you will also need to have a series of tests when you return.

The Polymerase Chain Reaction tests (PCR tests) are seen as the "gold standard" when it comes to testing and are different to the lateral flow tests available for free from the NHS.

Anyone who needs a PCR test will have to pay for one and some places are charging more than £100.

You should not use the NHS testing service to test yourself before a holiday and the government has asked that you arrange a private test.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is aware of the following travel test providers (including NHS Test and Trace) who may be able to conduct tests for day two and day eight testing for international arrivals.

The first test will be taken on or before day two of your quarantine period and the second test will be taken on or after day eight of your quarantine period.

The Government has produced a list of places you can get a PCR test from and how to contact them.

The list can be found here.

Travel tests and pricing

The travel test prices listed are for the provider’s standard service, which meets the government’s minimum standards. This includes:

  • both COVID-19 test kits
  • delivery and (where relevant) test swabbing
  • full evaluation of the test samples
  • relevant genome sequencing activities
  • result reporting to the patient
  • data reporting to PHE

Information for prospective testing providers

Before you begin testing you must:

  • meet the minimum standards for providers of day 2 and day 8 testing for international arrivals, including being at the relevant stage of UKAS accreditation
  • request to be added to the list of providers by completing the declaration form