Three-quarters of PCR tests taken this summer went unmonitored by officials, new research claims.
A Business Travel Association survey found 76% of 498 travellers returning to the UK said their PCR test result was not looked at or verified by UK Border Force.
Most of the trips – 61% – were taken for leisure, with 27% to visit friends and relatives and 11% for business. The vast majority, nearly 87%, were taken in June, July and August.
The survey of more than 500 individuals who travelled abroad from January to August 2021 also found 97% said nobody had asked to see their Day 2 or Day 8 PCR test on their return to the UK.
Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed had travelled to amber list countries, with the majority paying £31-£100 for their pre-departure test. More than 98% of results were negative.
The survey showed the majority (88%) thought testing too expensive, with 61% saying PCR tests for travel should cost between £10-£20, whilst 16% thought they should be free.
It also showed 97% of travellers believed PCR testing should be removed for fully vaccinated travellers returning from green list countries - whilst 86% thought it should be removed for amber list countries and 13% for red list countries.
The poll also found only 7% had no desire to travel or were “not bothered”, with the majority “desperate” to get away and with Spain and the US topping the wish list.
The BTA called on the government to remove testing for double vaccinated travellers returning from green and amber list countries and to cap pricing at £20.
Clive Wratten, BTA chief executive, said: “The findings from our latest travel survey are shocking. It is appalling to see over 75% of people travelling throughout the last eight months have not been asked to show their PCR tests on arrival to the UK, some of which cost over £100 to take.”
“As a crucial economic enabler for the UK and the world, it is pivotal business and leisure travellers can book with confidence and have access to affordable, accessible testing.”