Rogue coronavirus testing companies still inaccurately advertise travel testing on the government’s official website, despite the Health Secretary’s pledge to crack down on ‘cowboy’ suppliers.
Sajid Javid said last month that 82 companies were at risk of pulling off the site, fearing that travelers would be fooled by higher prices than initially advertised.
“It is absolutely unacceptable for a private testing company to take advantage of vacationers and today’s action is cracking down on this cowboy behavior,” he said.
But despite this promise, it seems that some companies still inaccurately display the price and location of their products.
From tomorrow, new rules for international travel will come into effect, including the removal of the pre-departure test before travelers arrive in the UK.
But fully vaccinated arrivals still need to book and pay for a second-day Covid test.
‘Dishonest people make misleading claims on a government website “
Adrian Norris, a space industry consultant, first noticed that some companies falsely advertised their prices.
While researching a second day test for Greater London, Mr Norris spotted three companies listing their prices at £ 4 or less.
However, two of them are only for in-person testing and they aren’t available until the end of October and November, respectively.
The third, 1 Harley Medic International, lists its prices from ‘£ 3.99’, but prices for Day 2 testing on its website start at £ 55. The company lists a two-day test for £ 3.99, but it is ‘on location in Bolton’, far from Greater London.
“Dishonest people are making misleading claims on a government website to attract clients who have a legal obligation to book a test, ”Norris wrote on Twitter.
“This has been emphasized time and time again. [Sajid Javid] said he would fix it. Until he does, people will be ripped off.
A search by this newspaper found more vendors falsely listing their locations and prices.
001ExpertCovidTesting, which is listed as the cheapest supplier in Yorkshire and the Humber at £ 3.99, actually only offers this price on location in Warrington, Lancashire.
1 Stop Covid Shop, the third cheapest business in the South West at £ 4.99, advertises day two testing on its website for £ 75. The only test they offer for £ 4.99 is in East Kilbride, Scotland.
1 Harley Medic International, 001ExpertCovidTesting and 1 Stop Covid Shop were all contacted for comment.
The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs did not immediately respond to requests for comment.