British holidaymakers are being warned they face substantial price hikes for trips abroad next year because of the recent surge in demand as Covid restrictions ease.
Flights next Easter are already 20% more expensive than pre-pandemic levels, while a raft of big tour operators are saying that package prices could be 15% higher than in 2019.
TUI AG has already reported a 120% rise in bookings for getaways in 2022, with 1.3mln bookings taken across the UK and elsewhere in Europe.
This year though has been a disappointment for both airlines and travel groups with a boom in holidays in the UK or staycations because of the difficulty and cost of getting abroad.
PCR tests to prove a person does not have Covid are still needed before travel, which can cost between GBP65 to GBP200 a time and even to places that no longer require travellers to quarantine when they return to the UK,
The cost has prompted the tests to be branded an unnecessary rip-off but today the University of Birmingham said it has developed a rapid test that gives a result in ten minutes and is as accurate as the current PCR laboratory-based test.
The test also detects low levels of Covid-19, which low cost and faster self-adminstered lateral flow tests cannot currently.
Professor Tim Dafforn, who is working on the project, said: “An ideal test would be one that is both sufficiently sensitive and speedy – our test, called RTF-EXPAR, achieves this goal.”
The new tests would be “ideally suited” to being used for travel via airports as the results can be returned in ten mintutes, he said.
“The test works with existing instrumentation, meaning that it could conceivably be deployed in these areas in three to six months with some commercial backing, he added.
Full results of the test will be published “in the near future”, he added.
Shares in TUI fell 1.8% to 307.2p.