There have been zero positive "day two” PCR tests from people returning from green-list countries, according to a case study of Covid-19 test results.
MP Huw Merriman, who chairs the transport select committee, said a study of day two PCR results from travellers returning from red, amber and green countries had shown that only 0.4% of people had tested positive across all colours.
He told the TTG Agenda 2021: Surviving the Summer event for TTG+ subscribers that there were “zero” positive results from those returning from green-list countries, while there were also no positive results from 151 of 167 countries with amber status.
Merriman added that these findings strengthened the case to replace PCR tests on day two with cheaper lateral flow or antigen tests.
“It’s very expensive to have a PCR test so maybe actually have a lateral flow test which is cheaper, and if you test positive, then have a PCR,” he told TTG editor Sophie Griffiths.
“If that was the case, nobody would have a PCR because nobody would have tested positive. We will continue pushing that – they are too expensive and not needed.”
Merriman also said he would continue to push for Foreign Office (FCDO) advice to be aligned with the traffic light system list, which he admitted had caused a “a lot of frustration”.
“You can’t have a situation where the government says it’s ok to go to certain places and then the FCDO advice on a Covid perspective is saying it’s not safe,” he added.
Merriman said he was now “more hopeful than a week ago” that plans to allow fully vaccinated people to travel to amber countries without quarantining on their return would be implemented in July rather than August.
Although he admitted everybody would have to “wait and see” what the government announces later this week. Transport secretary Grant Shapps is set to announce the government’s latest plans on Thursday (7 July).
“I do feel change is round the corner,” said Merriman. “Our aim is for more countries to go from red to amber to green. Rest assured we will be on the case whether parliament is on TV or not,” added Merriman.