The government has been urged to cap pricey PCR travel tests at £40 to stop consumers being hit by high charges when they return from their summer breaks.
Media outlets also note that an investigation by competition authorities will not report back until after the peak summer season.
Meanwhile, Italy has seen a new record high temperature for the continent as the heatwave continues and New Zealand confirms it will not reopen its borders until 2022.
Here are the key headlines concerning travel the UK woke up to on Thursday (12 August).
MPs urge Javid to cap travel test price at £40
The government has been urged to cap the cost of PCR travel tests at £40 by senior Conservative MPs to avoid holidaymakers being “ripped off” by high prices. PCR tests, which currently average around £75, are still required for all travellers returning from green and amber countries regardless of their vaccination status. (Daily Telegraph)
Watchdog fails to act over costly Covid tests
Businesses accused of charging “rip-off” fees for Covid travel tests will not be tackled until after the summer break. Health secretary Sajid Javid has asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate the price of these tests but it will only report back “within the next month”. (The Times)
Quarantine hotel rules face legal challenge
A law firm is challenging the UK’s quarantine hotel policy and seeking a judicial review. London-based firm PGMBM claims that requiring passengers to quarantine in a government-arranged hotel when returning from red list countries is an “unlawful deprivation of liberty”. (BBC News)
Reports of record 48.8C heat in Italy
The highest ever temperature in Europe has been recorded on the Italian island of Sicily as the continent’s heatwave continues. A weather station in the town of Syracuse recorded the temperature of 48.8C, which if confirmed will beat the previous European high of 48C in Athens in 1977. (The Guardian)
New Zealand borders to remain closed to the end of 2021
New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed the country’s borders will remain closed until at least the end of the year. She added that when borders reopen fully vaccinated travellers from “low-risk” countries will be able to visit without quarantine, although other visitors will have to self-isolate or quarantine for 14 days. (BBC News)
Economy grows as post-lockdown reopening fuel spending
The UK economy grew by 4.8% in the second quarter of the year, according to data from the Office for National Statistics, showing how the country has bounced back from the lockdowns earlier this year as more sectors were able to open up with the easing of restrictions. (Sky News)
Cathay Pacific unable to forecast end to financial woes
Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific faces the “most challenging period” in its history due to the spread of the Delta variant of Covid around the region. Cathay is reliant on international travel as it does not have a domestic market. The airline made a $977 million loss during the first half of this year. (Financial Times)