MILLIONS of Brits heading abroad for a holiday this summer are warned of 'carnage' due to overwhelmed Covid testing facilities when more countries are added to the UK's green list.
Many families have already found themselves paying hundreds of pounds extra after their mandatory Covid test results didn't arrive in time for their flights.
And with Brits currently only able to travel to a few countries on the green list – although some have already headed to amber-list Spain and Greece – it is feared this will only worsen when more countries are added later this month.
Which? Travel Editor Rory Boland advised families to book package holidays with tour operators who offer Covid tests, as they will then let you move your holiday if the result doesn't arrive in time.
However, he added: "But that’s not a given and will be no consolation to people who have fixed dates. The private testing system is already struggling, it will be carnage when people start travelling again."
More green list countries are expected to be added to the list this Thursday, allowing Brits to travel without quarantining when returning to the UK.
Both the Canary and the Balearic Islands in Spain could be added, according to PC Agency's Paul Charles, as well as Malta and Jamaica.
The only holiday destination for Brits on the green list is Portugal, although other countries on it include Gibraltar, Israel and Iceland.
Tour operators such as TUI offer testing kits from £20 for passengers, while easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways have discounted test kits.
However some fuming holidaymakers, who paid £39 to a test provider on the government list, said their Fit to Fly certificates didn't arrive in time to fly home.
One said of trying to get home: “Almost 24 hours later and no fit-to-fly certificate, despite a negative result in 20 minutes.”
Others have complained that test kits were not delivered to their homes on time before they were due to fly out — meaning they could not leave.
Border Force officials have also warned of 10-hour queues this summer due to the additional documents which have to be checked per passenger.
Lucy Moreton from the Union for Borders, Immigration & Customs (ISU) previously told I News: "We saw delays for seven or eight hours last summer, and with all the additional checks then we could see people waiting as long as 10 hours.
"There's no way around the delays at the border because Border Force officers will have to check the Covid status of all arrivals and that takes around 15 minutes per person.
"So, people from all over the world will be mixing inside for a long time."
However, Covid e-Gates will be ready by the end of the month, the government has said.
This week’s best deals on holidays abroad
- Iceland holidays: cheap deals to the green list country
- Half term Portugal holiday deals from £176 per person
- Cheap Portugal holidays for June & July from £220pp
- Get Universal Orlando theme park tickets for adults at kids’ prices
- Gibraltar holidays from £105pp as country makes UK green list
- Cheap Portugal villa holidays and all inclusive hotels
Arrivals at Heathrow and Gatwick will be able to use the ultra fast gates when landing in the UK after government techies synched them up with passenger locator forms which carry passengers Covid details.
Here is what your holiday abroad may look like this year, which includes longer airport queues and masks on the beach.
More countries are expected to be added to the red list this week as well, including Costa Rica and Bahrain.
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