The Guardian
Rob Davies and Sarah Butler

Air passengers to the UK have spent at least £500m on PCR Covid-19 tests from private companies since mid-May, a Guardian analysis has found, only for the NHS to be saddled with extra costs when firms fail to deliver them.

Concern is mounting that the system for testing travellers is on the brink of collapse, with Heathrow airport calling on Wednesday for the government to allow people to use cheaper lateral flow tests instead.

Travellers have reported having to call the NHS testing hotline on 119 for free taxpayer-funded kits after PCR tests they had paid for did not arrive.

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