Travel

Obligation to carry out PCR tests before traveling: Airlines warn of price explosion


At Hamburg Airport, passengers can have themselves tested in a drive-through - at their own expense.
At Hamburg Airport, passengers can have themselves tested in a drive-through – at their own expense.
picture alliance / rtn – radio tele nord | Frank Bründel

The corona-related entry restrictions make traveling significantly more expensive than before the pandemic. This worries the umbrella organization of airlines, the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The reason is that you have to present a PCR test when entering most countries. In contrast to the free antigen rapid tests, also known as “citizen tests” in Germany, the PCR tests cost a lot of money, depending on the provider.

An IATA sample showed large differences between 16 countries: On average, the tests cost the equivalent of at least 74 euros; at most even up to 172 euros. The IATA calculates: If an average one-way ticket including taxes and fees cost around 170 euros before the pandemic, a cheap PCR test would now increase travel costs to 244 euros – almost 45 percent more. For a family of four, the travel costs could almost double as a result of the tests.

IATA

IATA boss Willie Walsh said on Tuesday: “We believe that the real cost of a test is around $ 15”. That would be the equivalent of around 12.50 euros. “As a society we cannot allow a situation to develop in which only the rich can travel.”

Difficult mission for Willie Walsh, who has only been head of IATA for a few weeks.
Difficult mission for Willie Walsh, who has only been head of IATA for a few weeks.
picture alliance / empics | Niall Carson

At German airports, the cheapest PCR test costs 69 euros

A sample of NewsABC.net at 17 German airports has shown: The cheapest PCR test that is offered directly at airports costs 69 euros. The result is promised within 24 hours of taking the sample. For most people, however, this period of time requires an additional journey to the airport – this should also be taken into account in the travel budget.

If you have to move quickly, you have to dig deeper into your pockets: a PCR test from the provider “Centogene” costs 139 euros at Frankfurt Airport if the result is to be there within six hours. With a family of four, the premium tests alone would cost more than 500 euros.

France is taking a different approach: there, the country bears the costs for the PCR tests – even if holidaymakers need them to travel. Last week, the European Parliament demanded that PCR tests should be free of charge across the European Union and received praise from IATA boss Walsh for this. He says: “France and the European Parliament are on the right track. It is the responsibility of governments to ensure that tests are available to all. ”

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