Wider choice of Covid tests to be available for travellers returning to Wrexham from abroad

International travellers returning to Wrexham and Wales will be able to book their PCR tests from a wider range of providers from 21 September.

The Welsh Government has announced the change after the UK Government confirmed new stricter rules will be introduced to police and improve the PCR test firms.

All travellers returning to the UK from overseas must take PCR tests on their return home to help identify any new cases of coronavirus and prevent transmission.  Until now, Welsh residents could only use an NHS test, except in exceptional circumstances, with people living in other parts of the UK having a wider choice of test provider.

However, concerns were raised relating to issues with some of the private test providers, including inaccurate and misleading advertised prices, slow delivery and processing of tests and results not flowing into Welsh systems.

The Competitions and Market Authority (CMA) called for a rapid review of the market and the UK Government has now accepted the public watchdog’s recommendations.

Wrexham’s Member of the Senedd, Lesley Griffiths has welcomed the announcement.  She said:

“As there was evidence to suggest some private testing was unreliable and overpriced, the Welsh Government was right to raise its concerns with the UK Government.  I am pleased progress has now been made and from next week, there will be tougher penalties for private testing companies not following the law, as well as more choice for local residents.

“This was an issue that affected constituents in Wrexham so I am sure this latest announcement will be welcomed.  Protecting the people of Wales has been the priority for the Welsh Government throughout this pandemic and I am pleased it continues to set high standards.”